Sunday, 19 September, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Check Virus Spread



It is a matter of concern that the number of COVID-19 infections has been rising again at an alarming rate nationwide with the relaxation of restrictions. Government hospitals and other health institutions in the Kathmandu Valley as well as other parts of the country have lately witnessed more patients suffering from the virus. According to the latest information updates of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), the country reported as many as 4,107 new infections on Wednesday alone. Of them, 1,279 cases had been reported from the Kathmandu Valley. It was the highest figure recorded in the past 43 days. The country recorded a total of 35 deaths and 1,535 recoveries from the contagion on the same day. With this, the country’s total caseload has exceeded 769,900 and 9,957 deaths while a total of 661,651 patients have recovered.

Despite the on-going vaccination campaigns and other curbs in place worldwide, many countries have now seen an upsurge in COVID-19 infections. More than 200 million people have so far been infected with this pandemic, with some 4.26 million deaths globally. Some nations are battling the third wave while others are pulling their weight to deal with the fourth one. The newest resurge in infections in several provinces of China has forced the country to step up stringent measures to contain the deadly virus. The country had been able to reign in the fatal virus disease in an efficient manner immediately after the contagion first spread in Wuhan about one and a half years ago. The frequent outbreak of COVID-19 suggests that it may remain with us for longer period.

The rise in both infections and fatalities in Nepal signals a possible worsening scenario in the near future. Some virologists have warned that the recent resurge in COVID-19 infections could be due to the emergence of a third wave. The MoHP has estimated that the country is likely to witness about 200,000 new infections within the next five months if the current infection trend continues and the vaccination drive does not move ahead swiftly. The effect of the potential third wave could be minimised only through intensifying the inoculation campaign and following health safety protocols rigorously. The government has paid more attention towards vaccination as it is the only way to prevent the transmission of the pandemic and deaths. As of now, some 2 million people in Nepal have received both doses of the vaccine and 4 million others have got a single dose.

With more doses of different COVID-19 vaccines arriving from various countries, the government is planning to organise a ‘Vaccination Week’ from August 9-16. Through this initiative, more citizens will get the life-saving jabs. The government has added more vaccination centres so as to enhance people’s access to a vaccine. The government is also coming up with an idea of launching a 100-day plan to prevent and control the pandemic and the possible outbreak of the third wave. The Ministry of Home Affairs and other agencies have decided to gear up measures for preventing the next wave of the contagion. Under this plan, institutional holding centres will be built at various border points and people will be vaccinated there. It is also essential for the authorities to ramp up testing, isolating the infected and tracing contacts so as to contain the virus spread.