Covid-19 cases rise five-fold in a week in Nepal

Kathmandu, Jan 7 (EFE).- Nepal on Friday reported 968 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, a five-fold increase in daily infections in a week, according to official data.

On Jan.2, there were only 216 Covid-19 cases reported in the Himalayan country.

Among the recent infections, the Ministry of Health and Population reported 24 omicron cases, taking the total number of infections from the new Covid-19 variant to 27.

The ministry said in a press statement that the presence of the omicron variant was confirmed in at least 24 samples during the gene sequencing of 1,146 samples collected from among people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the last three weeks.

Kathmandu’s National Public Health Library director Runa Jha told EFE that the number of omicron cases has been growing at a very rapid pace in the country.

Following an emergency meeting of the Covid-19 Crisis Management Coordination Centre, headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the officials were ordered to make preparations on a war-footing to deal with a possible third wave of the coronavirus, Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada told EFE.

Nepal had reported the first two cases of the omicron variant on Dec.6 last year and another omicron variant was confirmed on Dec.23.

So far, 36 percent of Nepal’s 30 million population has been fully vaccinated, with a total 25.9 million doses administered as of Friday, according to the health ministry.

Moreover, the Himalayan nation has secured 39 million doses of vaccine to continue its inoculation program.

Nepal faced its worst coronavirus crisis in April last year when hospitals were overcrowded, leaving hundreds of patients to be treated in parking lots and open spaces.

The countrywide death toll stands at 11,602 and the number of active cases is 5,741, according to the ministry.

The government has imposed several lockdowns to check the spread of Covid-19 which resulted in Nepal’s economy witnessing its first contraction in four decades. EFE


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