Nepal registers highest single-day Covid spike as fresh wave intensifies

Kathmandu, Jan 18 (EFE).- Nepal on Tuesday registered 10,258 cases of Covid-19, the highest single-day figure since the pandemic began, as a fresh wave of the disease has rapidly spread in the country, with infections jumping by nearly 500 percent in less than a month.

According to the health ministry, the total number of infections registered in the country so far has climbed to 972,198, despite several restrictions imposed to control coronavirus spread.

A total of 11,624 people have died of the disease so far.

Tuesday’s figure was higher than the previous record daily spike on May 11, 2021, when authorities had reported 9,317 cases during a virulent Covid wave driven by the Delta variant.

The positivity rate stood at 49 percent as of Tuesday, which means that every second coronavirus test was returning positive.

Cases began to rise exponentially two weeks ago, jumping from a little over 200 to nearly 1,000 within four days, and the infection curve has continued to rise sharply afterwards.

In April and May, Nepal witnessed a second wave of infections during which daily caseloads ran into thousands and triggered a crisis in the healthcare system due to the shortage of hospital beds and equipment.

“The government has made arrangements to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen this time,” Krishna Prasad Poudel, director at the government’s Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, told EFE.

Although he admitted that the situation was “alarming.”

According to official data, as of Tuesday 40.6 percent of Nepal’s around 30 million residents had been fully vaccinated.

This week authorities began to administer booster doses of anti-Covid vaccines to frontline workers, who will be followed by those older than 60, Poudel said.

Last week the Nepalese government had banned public gatherings and ordered schools and universities to be closed until the end of January, as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile from Friday it would be mandatory for citizens to present a certificate of being fully vaccinated in order to access public spaces such as hotels and restaurants. EFE


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