Nepal: COVID-19 infection rate rises to 7 percent

Published On: January 9, 2022 03:10 PM NPT By: Pabitra Sunar

KATHMANDU, Jan 9: The COVID-19 infection rate, which has been rising daily for the last one week, reached 7.1 percent on Saturday. The infection rate was 2.61 percent last week. The infection rate went up by 4 percent in the last five days.

Nepal’s neighboring country India has been witnessing a high rate of COVID-19 infections. The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has appealed to all to be vigilant as the daily infection rate has started rising in Nepal along with the Omicron infection. The ministry has requested everyone to adhere to the public health standards. The ministry has also directed all COVID-19 hospitals to be prepared for any eventuality. The ministry has also requested the people not to gather crowds and hold gatherings.

Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, joint spokesperson for the MoHP, said that the ministry may decide to prohibit gatherings and crowds. He said, “There has been no discussion regarding a lockdown. As the infection rate continues to rise, crowds and gatherings need to be prohibited." He stated that hospitals have been directed to stay prepared and the ministry plans to expedite vaccination campaigns.

After the increase in the infection rate in India, it has started increasing in Nepal as well, said Dr Niraj Bam, COVID-19 coordinator at the TU Teaching Hospital.

According to Bam, although the number of daily infections in the Kathmandu Valley has been rising of late, the number of hospital admissions has not increased. He said there are 18 patients of COVID-19 in hospitals at present. Seven of them are in the ICU. Dr Bam informed Republica that the admitted patients are above 65 years of age. He said it was yet to be determined whether the patients are infected with Delta or Omicron. "Because they have the same symptoms, we are treating them like other COVID-19 patients," he said.

Dr Manisha Rawal, director at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, also said that the hospital admission rate has not increased despite an increase in the number of infections in the Kathmandu Valley of late. According to her, there are 11 patients of COVID-19 in the hospital at present. Three of them are in the ICU and eight are in cabins.

Most of the admitted patients are over 65 years of age and have not been vaccinated, Dr Rawal said. "After the impact of COVID-19 in India becomes visible, we will have to wait for a few weeks to know its impact in Nepal." 

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