As the Omicron virus spreads across the country, the government of Nepal isn’t taking chances. The government today took a series of decisions from banning worship in temples to procuring COVID-19 testing kits to importing vaccines.
Nepal is staring at a likely third wave of COVID-19 and the government has brought forth a slew of measures. Since the detection of the first Omicron infection in the country in December 2021, the virus is now at its infectious worst, infecting health personnel, media persons, bankers, sportspersons, employees, professionals, shopkeepers or homemakers.
8,730 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday. These include 35 employees of the Supreme Court of Nepal tested positive for COVID-19.
117 doctors and health workers of different hospitals in Chitwan district have tested positive for coronavirus. 30 doctors from the Nuwakot district are also infected.
Nuwakot district’s medical superintendent, Dipendra Pande said nurses, paramedics and lab technicians too have been found positive for coronavirus.” Gynaecology and obstetrics services too have been halted and the hospital has issued a notice and informing people of the closure of services, he said.
According to reports, the infection rate per 15,000 tests has touched over 4,000 on Sunday. Active cases have crossed 25,500 on the WHO COVID-19 dashboard and seven people have been reported to have died.
Lockdowns, vaccines and testing kits
The sharp increase in disease today compelled the government to further impose lockdowns.
All the three district administration in the Kathmandu valley have banned all worship till the middle of February. It is now mandatory for people entering premises of government offices to display their vaccination cards.
The government began work today to procure 900,000 COVID-19 testing kits.
Addressing the ninth meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Monday, Prime Minister Deuba expressed his worry about Omicron’s rapid spread through the country.
Sources say that the government is wary of any repeat of the flack it faced for its handling of the pandemic’s second wave in April 2021. Hospitals and medical personnel were then overwhelmed as people died for want of oxygen.
Deuba directed the Ministry of Health and Population to immediately import enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate all Nepali citizens.
So far, only 39 per cent have received both doses of the vaccine, according to the WHO COVID-19 dashboard.