As Nepal has started witnessing a resurge in the number of new COVID-19 infections, raising the alarm about the possible outbreak of a third wave, the government has decided to intensify preparations for dealing with this fatal virus disease. A meeting of the Central Security Committee held under the chairmanship of Minister for Home Affairs Bal Krishna Khand on Sunday discussed taking required measures to prevent and control the spread of the dreaded virus. It is notable that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already warned of an eruption of a deadlier and more infectious virus wave in several South Asian nations, including Nepal and India. The global health body has called upon the nations and regions at high risk to take necessary precautions for preventing the impending wave of this global public health crisis. The ongoing second wave has proven to be quite shocking for Nepal as it has killed thousands of people and infected hundreds of thousands.
The nation recorded more than 2,230 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday alone. Of them, the Kathmandu Valley saw 624 infections. Together with these cases, the nationwide active caseload reached 27,228. And 2,680 of them have been undergoing treatment at different hospitals while 24,548 have been staying in home isolation. Some 666 people have been admitted to ICUs (intensive care units) and 168 are receiving treatment with ventilator support. Though the recovery rate of COVID-19 has remained encouraging in Nepal, many of the patients with underlying health conditions have been going through its long-term effects. Amidst all this, a positive aspect is that the number of deaths from this pandemic has now fallen sharply as compared to last May when the pandemic was at its peak in the country.
But the arrival of virus new variant has posed a serious threat to public health as well as the national economy. Numerous restrictive measures, taken to reign in the rapid transmitting virus disease, have had an adverse impact on the economic sector. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. A rigorous adoption of several health safety protocols like wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, washing hands with soap and water frequently and using hand sanitisers could alone help people keep the virus at bay.
With an alarming increase in the number of fresh COVID-19 infections in some 12 districts, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has projected that the nation may report about 200,000 active cases in the next five months. This forecast signals that the country may again face a grave situation. If the projection comes true, hospitals and other healthcare institutions across the country will be overburdened with patients. Since the third wave is likely to hit children and other unvaccinated lots hard, the government now needs to step up the inoculation campaign across the nation to save them. Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Janardan Sharma has reiterated the government’s commitment to expediting the vaccination drive for saving the lives of people and reviving the national economy. Since the rehabilitation of the economy fully depends on the vaccination drive, the government must leave no stone unturned when it comes to administering the live-saving jabs to the people.