Nepal is now witnessing a record daily rise in covid-19 cases along with deaths. On Thursday alone Nepal reported 8,842 new coronavirus cases, with 214 covid-19 related fatalities taking the nationwide infection tally to 431,191 and death tally to 4446.
According to the ministry daily report, the number of active cases stands at 105,207. The positivity rate was 45 percent on Thursday.
“321,518 infected people have recovered from the disease so far; 5,055 of them in the last 24 hours,” shows the data.
Of the total infection recorded on Thursday, over 40% was recorded in Kathmandu Valley which is 3,562 new infections. Of these, 2,733 cases were confirmed in Kathmandu, 481 in Lalitpur and 348 in Bhaktapur.
With the record daily surge in covid-19 cases, Nepal health system has collapsed. Countless stories of desperate people unable to get medical treatment and people dying after being turned away from hospitals have engulfed the nation.
Here are few points explained on Why the second wave has turned more deadlier in Nepal
Lack of oxygen supply in hospitals
Even now while I am writing this article #Nepalneedsoxygen is trending on twitter with multiple queries by people all over social media on how to get oxygen or refill it.
“Currently #Nepal is facing a massive oxygen shortage. People are dying due to lack of infrastructure rather than critical health conditions. These are preventable deaths! International community, Please help!!! #Nepalneedsoxygen #covid19nepal,” wrote a twitter user.
With the government creating bureaucratic hassles for oxygen, and more people in dire need of oxygen and oxygen plants falling short of production, hospitals have already put their hands up saying they cannot take in new Covid-19 patients. In Covid Connect Nepal, a website which is a volunteer-run platform initiated to connect assistance providers and seekers, there are over 264 live requests demanding oxygen for covid-19 patients.
No hospital beds
With an exponential rise in coronavirus cases, especially in Kathmandu Valley, health facilities designated for the treatment of Covid-19 have been overwhelmed. As a result seriously ailing patients who are forced to wait to get hospital admittance are compelled to stay at home.
According to a Kathmandu Post article, currently, there are 1,486 intensive care unit beds and 634 ventilators in operation throughout the country. The number of general beds, which can be allocated for coronavirus patients, stands at 18,917.
However, the Health Ministry has estimated up to 800,000 new cases within July 15 in a worst-case scenario. Up to 15,000 people could require intensive care unit beds and ventilators and 45,000 could need high flow oxygen supply.
As per Covid Connect Nepal website, there are over 600 bed requests pending on their site, which clearly shows how people are facing trouble finding beds.
Unavailability of vaccines
Back in January, Nepal became one of the first countries to launch its vaccination drive against the virus. However, now after India halted the vaccine supply, Nepal is in limboo. The country so far has received 3,148,000 doses and used 2,397,000 doses. Those who took the first dose of China’s Sinopharm vaccine will be administered the second dose from May 16 to May 25.