• The districts with COVID-19 active positive cases have now climbed up to 76 out of 77, with 1,126 deaths. In the past week alone, there were around 150 COVID-19 related deaths and 20,000 new positive cases across Nepal (Ministry of Health and Population – MoHP).
• The MoHP is going to take a proposal to the cabinet meeting • for the free treatment of COVID-19 infected patients after the Supreme Court rejected the MOHP’s request to review the order to provide free treatment to the COVID-19 infect- ed.The Cabinet meeting had decided to test and provide free treatment only to those who can’t afford to pay and to single women, Person with Disabilities (PwDs), the frontline health workers, security personnel and cleaning staff. The decision was enforced by the MoHP effective from October 17.
• A total of 73 designated COVID-19 laboratories are now functional in the country, of which 43 are GoN and 30 are private (MoHP, SITREP #274).
• Remdesivir, an anti-viral medication, which has been permitted to be used as an emergency medication against COVID-19 by the Government of Nepal (GoN), has been found being sold at exorbitantly higher prices.According to a report submitted by the MoHP investigation team, it has been found that the Remdesivir costing just NPR 5,600 is being sold for more than NPR 40,000 (Focused C19 Media Monitoring Nepal, WHO, 8 Nov, 2020).
Sixteen doctors working at the emergency ward of one of the biggest GoN hospitals, Bir Hospital have resigned on 4 November, 2020, en masse stating the hospital did not provide them with Dashain-Tihar allowances and safety gears to get protected from COVID-19 infection. Despite an overall decrease in cases reported weekly in Southeast Asia Region, case morbidity and mortality are increasing in Nepal (WHO Nepal, Situation Update #29).
• The GoN is mulling over stopping the evacuation flights, and is planning to bring back Nepali nationals stranded in foreign countries due to COVID-19 through regular flights. The COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) has recommended to the GoN to halt evacuation flights, and bring Nepalis through the regular flights.