KATHMANDU: The Covid-19 infection rate in Nepal has soared by about 69 per cent in the last 24 hours forcing authorities to clamp restrictions as the Himalayan Nation braces for the third wave of the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, Nepal logged 2,444 new cases of coronavirus out of which 1,981 tests were conducted through the RT-PCR method while 463 tested positive through the antigen method. Earlier, on Monday, a total of 1,446 new cases were confirmed.
Out of the 15,033 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 16.3 per cent of the samples has turned positive, the data from the Ministry of Health and Population showed.
As per the data, one out of 7 people who underwent the Covid test has been diagnosed with contagion. A day earlier, the infection rate stood at 12.7 per cent meaning one out of eight samples thus tested was positive.
On Tuesday, Kathmandu recorded the highest number of infections with 980 samples testing positive while Lalitpur recorded 221 and Bhaktapur recorded 85 infections. In the last 24 hours Kathmandu Valley alone has reported 1,286 new cases of infection.
As per the Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal currently has 9,522 active cases of Covid-19 infection out of which Kathmandu Valley alone has 5,310 active cases which contribute to 55.8 per cent of the total active cases.
Kathmandu alone hosts 3,521 active cases of Coronavirus while Lalitpur has 1,090 and Bhaktapur has 699 active cases.
With surging cases, authorities of Kathmandu Valley has banned mass gathering at public places capping the number of people to gather at a public place to 25. A joint meeting of the Chief District Officers (CDO) of three districts made the decision which will come into force from midnight today.
Authorities have also urged to refrain from holding events, fairs, festivals and political programmes in view of the risk of Covid-19. The authorities also made mandatory vaccine cards for entry into public places such as hotels, restaurants, public offices, airports, cinema halls, stadiums, among others, from January 21.
Likewise, the vaccine card will be mandatory to receive Government services from district offices in the valley. Moreover, authorities have provisioned for vaccination to children of the 16-17 age group by setting up vaccination booths in various places within a week. They asked District Public Health Office (DPHO) to coordinate with local levels and prepare an action plan to administer school children vaccines within a week.
Hospitals and health facilities have been asked to prepare the necessary infrastructure to deal with the potential influx of Covid-19 patients. Chiefs of government offices where people tend to crowd are asked to manage service delivery by implementing health safety protocols, among others.
Likewise, industries have been asked to ensure the implementation of health safety standards in the operation of the business. “The decisions are subject to inspection by security agencies and if found in violation, action would be taken as per Infectious Diseases Act, 2020,” a release from the District Administration Office, Kathmandu stated.

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By Srtune

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