Nepal’s devastating COVID-19 outbreak showed no signs of abating on Tuesday as the country recorded its highest single-day coronavirus related deaths with 225 fatalities and 9,483 new cases in the last 24 hours.
A deadly second wave of the pandemic is sweeping across Nepal, with about 8,000 new cases being reported daily for the past several days, which is quite high for a country of approximately 30 million people.
Hospitals are full and running out of essential supplies.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an interim order, directing the federal and provincial governments to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen, medicines, beds and nursing staff at hospitals.
The apex court added that the defendants should submit a written explanation on the matter by May 21.
With the 225 deaths and 9,483 new cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of COVID-19 related deaths now stands at 4,084 and infections at 413,111, the Ministry of Health and Population said on Tuesday.
In the last 24 hours, 5,225 COVID-19 patients have recovered, 20,596 polymerase chain reaction tests and 720 antigen tests have been conducted, the ministry said.
There are 97,008 active coronavirus cases in the Himalayan nation.
Of the new cases, 3,927 were reported from the Kathmandu Valley, where prohibitory orders have been extended till May 27. The restriction orders were first enforced on April 29 and were due to expire on May 12.
Meanwhile, China donated 400 oxygen cylinders, 160 oxygen concentrators, and 10 ventilators to Nepal on Tuesday.
A wide-body Nepal Airlines aircraft flew in the medical supplies, officials said, adding that the 400 oxygen cylinders are part of the 20,000 cylinders that China has promised to donate to the country.
General Manager of Nepal Airlines Dim Prakash Paudel told journalists an aircraft has been kept on standby to fly in the remaining health equipment which China has pledged.
Late last month, China had promised Nepal medical equipment and supplies equivalent to 5 million yuan (USD 780,000). The announcement was made by Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi at a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers attended by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
In an opinion piece published in The Guardian newspaper on Monday, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, who lost a confidence vote in Nepal’s House of Representatives earlier in the week, appealed to the UK and other developed nations to urgently provide his country with essential medical items, life-saving drugs and vaccines to combat the pandemic.