News Digest – National Security & Environment (July 8 – 14)

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Karuna Gurung, vice-chairperson of Bandipur village municipality and others went to monitor the incident with the people of the area who were displaced due to incessant rains. Photo: RSS

According to reports, as of July 14, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 703,856 and the death tally has reached 9,412. There are 26,261 active cases of infection in the country while 623,105 people have made a recovery. The country recorded 2,398 new cases and 12 deaths on July 13.

After two months in lockdown, business have reopened and public vehicles have started operating in the Kathmandu valley. However, public health experts, who have long warned the arrival of a third wave say that Nepal is yet to mitigate the second wave peak of cases. Furthermore, with the delta and delta variants detected in various parts of the country and Nepal’s low vaccination coverage, Nepal runs the risk of experiencing the same health system failure it did in April and May.

Experts have warned against the possible outbreak of Zika virus in Nepal. The news is all the more concerning as Nepal is still struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. According to reports, Nepal is highly vulnerable to a Zika outbreak as the virus vectors can be detected in most parts of the country. However Epidemiologists say that much like Nepal’s position with Covid-19, the government lacks test kits and surveillance capacity. Furthemore, a study by the National Health Research Council has shown that changing climate patterns are increasing the risk of diseases like dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever.

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