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Govt. to administer second dose of vaccine from April 20



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By Sapana Thami, Kathmandu, Mar. 30: The Ministry of Health and Population is preparing to administer the second dose of vaccine against COVID-19 from April 20 to April 24.

Spokesperson at the MoHP Dr. Jageshwor Gautam said that those who fall under the greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus would be vaccinated with the second dose in the given time frame on priority basis. "A total of 450,000 people will be provided with the second dose," he said.

According to Dr. Gautam, front-line health workers, security officials deployed at the border area, senior citizens above 65 years of age, jail inmates, people suffering from chronic diseases, and those involved in disposing of the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients would be vaccinated with the second dose.

The government of China on Monday provided 800,000 doses of vaccine against the novel coronavirus to Nepal under grant assistance. Until now, Nepal has received 3,248,000 doses of vaccines.  

Possibility of second wave

Meanwhile, the second wave of the pandemic in India has also increased the possibility of Nepal being hit by yet another wave of the virus. "However, the situation can be brought into control if we follow all the public health protocols," said Dr. Gautam.

The front-line health workers have said that the government should prepare to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Nepal, which might increase within a few weeks due to the open border. Currently, around 2 to 3 thousand people have been entering Nepal from the Nepal-India border.

Antigen tests at the border

Along with the increasing cases of virus infection in India, the government has started conducting antigen tests at the border areas. Until now, over 48 people who had entered Nepal from the border were found to be infected with COVID-19 from the antigen tests.

The reports of antigen tests can be received within half an hour.

5.6 per cent of total population vaccinated

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 5.6 per cent of the total population in Nepal have been vaccinated against the virus until now. "As around 90 nations have not been able to start the vaccination campaign, our effort to inoculate our citizens is one of the best efforts across the world," Dr. Gautam said.

Up to 2,000 active cases

Currently, there are around 1,341 active cases of COVID-19. Of the 276,980 total cases of infection, 3,027 fatalities have been reported as of today. The fatality rate is very low in Nepal if compared to other nations. "The efforts made by the government to minimise the fatality rate should be taken positively," added Dr. Gautam.