The combination of testing and oxygen shortages, a critically fragile health system and vaccination efforts at a standstill, has Nepal facing a crisis scenario with thousands of lives at risk, Save the Children warned today.
Nepal has surpassed India in terms of COVID-19 deaths per capita, and is far ahead of other South Asian countries. With PCR testing capacity limited to only 22,000 per day, and with supplies of test kits running low, humanitarian organisations are concerned that COVID-19 cases are very likely seriously underreported.
Vaccination supplies remain uncertain, and earlier this week the COVAX facility is reported to have told the government that it will not be able to provide jabs before next year.
Save the Children is deeply concerned about the impact of the worsening crisis on children. Many have lost parents to the virus or are at risk of being pushed even deeper into poverty or hunger as a result of lost family incomes. Children in Nepal have now been out of school for over a month in this second wave and with many unable to access remote learning, Save the Children warned that a whole generation of children is at risk of being held back.
Strict lockdown measures have been introduced from 29 April across most of the country and were tightened even further on 28 May with grocery shops ordered to close for the first time, except for a short window each day.
SOURCE: SAVE THE CHILDREN