COVID-19 situation in Nepal

  • Hemanta Budhathoki
  • Last Updated on Jul 21, 2024

Table of Contents

When Nepal found first COVID case
Regarding the Government of Nepal and different authorized news agencies here we give you the information about the COVID-19 Situation in Nepal. Nepal found a first COVID case on 23 January 2020, this was also a first record in the whole south Asia. 31 years old lady return Kathmandu from Wuhan China on 9 January tested COVID positive after 14 days of her arrival in Nepal. Nepal then started to spread public awareness saving peoples from COVID-19. The second case was confirmed on 23 March in a young woman return to Kathmandu from France. About 41 days later Nepal found local transmission of Corona in the Terai region of Nepal near the Indian border, which was on 4 April. The government announces a countrywide lockdown effective from 24 March, this has ended on 21 July after the COVID case is decreased day by day. Today 4th August 2020, the Ministry of Health and Population Nepal has confirmed 20,750 Cases, 14,961 recovered, and 57 deaths. About 99 percent of infected persons are without any systems. Their pathology report is Corona positive but, they are being a normal person.  

The first case from China and mass infected from India
Fist COVID case receives in the country from China. In the third week of March, receive more cases from Nepalese peoples who returned from India.  Nepal is an open border with India. About 2.5 million Nepalese are working there. After losing their work, they returned back to the home country. Most of the corona positive cases were with those peoples. Nepal has an 1800 kilometer open border with India on the side of West, East, and South. Most of the goods arrive in Nepal from India. Mass peoples arrive in the Nepal India border sometime was under control. The government was established a holding center to send arrived peoples to their local places and put them at least 14 days quarantine. Some time due to overcrowded peoples, it was out of control. Putting them properly in quarantine was also affected due to the miss management of the local government.   

Government schools are quarantine
Government school and private schools closed from 19 March due to this pandemic. Since then, all the students are at home. Most of the government schools are converting to quarantine. There are about 28 thousand community schools among them, about 4 thousand have been used for quarantine and 64 school building for isolation.

Tested and treatment
Corona increased in Nepal from Nepalese who return home from abroad. About 29 million peoples of Nepal, 20,750 are infected until 4th August. 14,961 discharge, 57 deaths, and 5,732 are in isolation. There were 398,907 PCR tests. A total of 10,452 peoples are in quarantine. Nepal lacked facilities of the emergency ambulance for highly infectious patients safely bring to the hospital, fewer isolation wards in the hospital. There was only one Hospital designed for COVID treatment. That was Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku Kathmandu, Latter country build a total of 32 hospitals are designed to treat COVID-19.
Corona treatment hospital in Nepal  

Why in Nepal is less death rate
Most of the COVID patients in Nepal had no systems and only a few had mid symptoms of the disease and survived and recovered after 13 days. One of the rough reasons for Nepal’s low death rate is that COVID confirmed cases have been in young individuals who have better outcomes generally than older peoples. Nepali peoples use to eat daily fresh vegetables from their garden, the habit of less fast foods, spices used in their daily foods, habitually due to less care of personal hygiene of Nepali peoples, they have built their body used to with normal virus and bacteria. Big numbers of peoples live in villages’ sites where their buildings are in distance, they are busy in daily working life, and possibly infected people came from abroad or from the city side was properly put in quarantine.   

Conflict speech by Prime Minister Oli about COVID
Prim Minister Khadga Prasad Oli speech in parliament about Covid-19 “It has become very difficult to control COVID-19 in Nepal due to the flow of peoples from outside. Virus from India is more deadly than Chinese and Italian now. More are getting infected because of India.” The first virus-infected person came from China and it was cured properly and easily. Another case that arrives in the country from Nepali who came from Italy was also cured easily but Nepal was facing a problem with the Nepali and Indian peoples who came uncontrolled from an open border with infection of Corona from India. This speech of Prime Minister Oli was news in Hurry in Indian media for a while.    

Impact of Corona in Tourism

Nepal had declared 2020 as the Visit Nepal Year and aimed to bring two million foreign tourists, almost double the figure from the previous year. As the pandemic spread and Nepal had to suspend air travel. The biggest source of international tourists arriving by air, Nepal suspended its promotional campaigns too. The government has been only allowing just chartered flights for humanitarian purposes and taking delivery of medical goods.  The number of Chinese tourists drastically decreased in February and March, coinciding with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepal’s tourism industry ultimately lose over $330 million. This is one of the worst crises ever to hit the tourism industry impacting all its geographical section inbound, outbound and domestic, almost all tourism verticals, leisure, adventure, and heritage. The whole tourism chains, hotels, travel agents, Trekking, Expeditions, tour operations, destinations, restaurants, entertainment venues, and air/land transportation, has been hit. The tourism industry will be taking a severe beating due to the outbreak with hundred of thousands of people dependent on it suffering losses and job cuts.

Impact in remittance
The country is highly dependent on remittance is badly affecting due to this pandemic. As the data remittance accounted for approximately 26% of the country’s GDP which is about $ 8.64 billion. The numbers of Nepalese migrant workers are in Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait alone are estimated to be around 1.5 million. However, the majority of Nepalese migrant workers, possibly around 3 to 4 million, are working in India. About 56% of Nepalese households are partly dependent on remittance. Families are using remittances to run their daily life, their children to school/college, or invest in small businesses.

Many Nepalese people are expected to return to Nepal, as job opportunities are decreasing. This year, between mid-February and the end of March, before international flights were suspended, an estimated 67,000 Nepalese migrant workers managed to return to the country. There are uncountable numbers of workers return from India after their job loss. In the future, it would be very important to find work for the returnees in Nepal and a huge impact on the country's GDP.  

More number of Nepalese dies in abroad
As per the data from Non-Resident Nepali Association's Health Committee, a total 143 Nepalese pass away till 1st August evening due to the virus in 14 countries including the UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Ireland, Japan, Turkey, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Oman. This is more in the number dies inside the country. A total of 28,918 Nepalese abroad have been infected while 25,226 recovered. Nepali residing in several 37 countries has been affected by the virus. 

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki

Hemanta Budhathoki is team leader of Nepal Highland Trekking and travel company. 

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