Focused COVID-19 Media Monitoring, Nepal (January 18, 2022)



• Nepal reported 5 747 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths on 17 January, active cases climb to 30 877 — Nepal had over 30 000 active cases last on 7 September 2021, while new infections over 5 000 were recorded on 3 June 2021; experts predict COVID-19 infection will continue to rise for the next 2 weeks, positivity rate is at 35%; Chitwan in red zone with over 500 active cases; as lab staff of 4 major checkposts of Lumbini – Belahiya, Maheshpur, Krishnanagar and Jamunaha — test positive, COVID-19 testing here affected; over 200 positive cases being reported in Gandaki Province; new COVID-19 cases increasing in Baglung, Kathmandu Valley local levels indifferent towards control and containment of COVID-19 infection despite recording the highest number of cases; people visiting markets across the Nepal-India border has been increasing raising risk of the infection spreading in the community; risk of spread of infection high in Banke as regulatory measures to check the spread is not being followed; Tourism-Culture Minister Prem Ale tests positive, so do 28 personnel of Teku Police Division, 10 inmates under the division, as well as 23 staff members of High Court of Birgunj, and over 100 staff members at Singh Durbar

• Drive to administer booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine begins on 17 January, a day later than planned due to ‘logistical confusion’, frontliners on priority for the shot; Kathmandu starts administering booster dose to frontliners, shots to be given from 8 government and 9 private hospitals; booster dose to be given to frontliners from 8 hospitals of Lalitpur from 18 January,; no vaccine in Kanchanpur, Sudurpashchim Province to administer boosters; Gandaki Province does not have syringes to administer the booster dose; people waited in line for hours on 16 January for booster shots, had to return home without as they are informed that is not available

• Government aims to inoculate all citizens above the age of 16 against COVID-19 by end of Chaitra (mid-April), plans to do so via mobile vaccine service; it has failed to meet its target to vaccinate 66% of the population by end of Poush (14 January)

• Flyers will need to produce vaccination cards or proof of full vaccination to board a domestic flight from 21 January onwards; vaccine card and PCR test report mandatory to enter Nepal via Biratnagar’s Rani border point from 15 January onwards

• 5.2% of those aged 13-17, and 10% above the age of 18 in Nepal suffer from mental health problems, according to Mental Health Survey 2077 (BS), estimated percentage has increased due to the fear brought on by COVID-19 pandemic