News Digest (September 10-16, 2020)



National Security & Climate Change

Nepal’s COVID-19 tally stands at 48,138 as death toll reaches 371: As of September 16, Nepal’s Covid-19 tally stands at 56,788 and the death tally has reached 371. According to the health ministry, there are 15779 active cases of infection in the country while 40,638 people have made a recovery. Province No. 2 has reported 13,031 cases with 113 deaths, Bagmati Pradesh has reported 15,836 cases with 117 deaths, Province No. 5 has reported 8,608 cases with 52 deaths, Sudurpaschim Pradesh has reported 6,655 cases with 9 deaths, Province No. 1 has reported 4,964 cases with 39 deaths, Karnali Pradesh has reported 2,913 cases with 5 deaths, and Gandaki Pradesh has reported 3,322 cases with 25 deaths.[1]

Health experts advise treating infected areas as clusters and imposing restrictions accordingly: Covid-19 cases have continued to rise at an alarming rate in the Kathmandu valley. In this light, experts have advised that infected areas should be treated as clusters and simultaneously, movements should be restricted while tests are sped up. Doctors have said that seroprevalance surveys will be instrumental to identify clusters. They have also stressed that if the virus is allowed to spread at community level, measures such as contact tracing and testing will be futile.[2]

Domestic flights to resume from September 17: Domestic flights have been halted for almost six months after a blanket lockdown was imposed in efforts to curb the spread of the virus. According to the government’s recent decision, operations for domestic flights to all destinations will be open from September 17. Only international flights had been allowed to resume from September 1 with various restrictions. However, airline operators can operate only 30 per cent of their earlier slots and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has requested airline operators to prepare their schedules accordingly.[3]

Landslides strike Sindhupalchowk and wreak havoc: The onset of monsoon has wreaked havoc in various parts of Nepal over the past two months, claiming hundreds of lives and rendering hundreds homeless. More recently, fifteen individuals were killed and 16 have gone missing after a landslide struck three settlements at Ghumthang of Barhabishe Municipality, Sindhupalchowk, on September 12. The landslide also swept away 11 house. Disaster management teams of Nepal Police, APF, and Nepal Army have been mobilized to search for the missing individuals.[4]





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