Nepal records highest daily Covid death toll

Kathmandu, May 19 (EFE).- Nepal on Wednesday recorded the highest number of deaths caused by Covid-19 in a single day, with 246 fatalities registered in last 24 hours.

This took the total number of deaths caused by disease so far to 5,657, according to health ministry data.

The country registered 8,064 fresh Covid cases on Wednesday, taking the total caseload past 480,000, as the country struggles to deal with a virulent second wave of the pandemic.

“The situation is very bad. The devastating Covid-19 outbreak has shown no signs of abating despite the lockdown,” health ministry spokesperson Jageshwor Gautam told EFE.

The authorities had imposed a two-week lockdown on Apr. 29 and then extended it for two more weeks until May 27, barring all activities and travel except the partial opening of shops related to essential goods in the morning.

International flights have also been suspended for the period.

On Tuesday, Nepal had confirmed the presence of a third new variant B.1.617.2 – widely thought to have originated in India – in the country.

“B.1.617.2 is the new variant seen in India, while B.1.617.1 is the one seen in the UK. Last year, Nepal had reported the variant arising from China,” Sameer Kumar Adhikari, assistant spokesperson for the health ministry, said in a press statement.

The ministry has urged people to strictly follow all health safety protocols as the new variant is more infectious than the older ones and might be deadlier for people of all age groups.

The World Health Organization had classified the B.1.617 variant of “global concern” on May 10.

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese work as seasoned laborers in India, where the rapidly-spreading strain of the virus is partially blamed for the steep rise in widespread infections and deaths.

According to officials, thousands of Nepali migrant laborers had fled the neighboring country and returned home since the beginning of April, with many of them possibly infected.

The rapid increase in Covid cases has put Nepal’s poor health infrastructure at the risk of collapse. EFE


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