News Digest – National Security & Environment (June 24 – 30, 2021)

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According to reports, as of June 29, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 636,916 and the death tally has reached 9,071. There are 35,310 active cases of infection in the country while 592,535 people have made a recovery. The country recorded 2,636 new cases and 20 deaths on June 29.

As of 30 June, the government has relaxed lockdown like restrictions including the operation of private vehicles and public transportation services under the odd-even number rule. However, health experts have expressed their reservations fearing that the progress so far achieved in bringing down the infection rate may be lost. Health officials have also raised concerns over their role in Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) responsible for giving suggestions to mitigate Covid-19 crisis. According to them, there is a lack of health officials in the organizational structure.

Despite touting Nepal as one of the first countries to vaccinate its citizens, the Nepali government has failed to secure second doses for those who received their first dose in March, without any updates on when Nepal will be receiving additional vaccines. Despite there being many lessons to be learnt from the first wave of the pandemic, the Nepali government resorted to politicking, delayed responses, mixed and false messaging, denial, and lack of serious intent to consider the advice of experts.

According to meteorologists, parts of the country are going to continue receiving more rainfall for a few days. Although it is predicted to be limited to certain areas, experts have alerted the public to remain alert as even moderate rainfall over the next few days could lead to landslides and disruption of road networks. The country has already suffered monsoon-related devastation when several parts of the country were affected by heavy rainfall, unleashing floods and landslides, mainly in the hilly districts.

Landslide caused by rain on the road to Jarewar via Bhimad-Simle-Bhagar in Bhimad Municipality-8 of Tanahu. The road has been reopened two weeks after removing the rubbles. Photo: RSS

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