Nepal

Focused COVID-19 Media Monitoring, Nepal (January 20, 2022)

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EMERGING THEME(S)

• Nepal reported 9 502 new COVID-19 infections on 19 January, the highest 24-hour figure since onset of pandemic in March 2020, 4 deaths; active caseload stands at 47 929

• COVID-19 infection rate reported at 52.6%, the highest average infection rate the country has recorded till now; Health Ministry projects COVID-19 infection will peak on 26 January with highest number of infections being recorded between 22-29 January; daily infections surging in Morang but people still carrying on with crowd activities; infection on the rise in Gandaki Province, but people still not going for tests; only 3 local levels of Baitadi have made preparations to counter the third wave

• With test positivity rate at dangerous highs, health experts suggest treating each case as COVID-19 infection and prepare measures accordingly; though number of COVID-19 infections is high, hospitalization rate is low comparatively, critically ill COVID-19 patients is 4 times less in third wave than in the second, according to Dr Manisha Rawal; anyone with a sore throat testing for Antigen/PCR Test these days are found to be COVID-19 positive, says Dr Sher Bahadur Pun

• Cost of PCR Test slashed to Rs 800 for asymptomatic people, those showing symptoms can get the test done for free in government centers; private testing facilities can now charge Rs 1 500 per test as against the earlier cost of Rs 2 000

• Nepal Aushadhi Ltd and other drug manufacturers to send around 1 500 000 pills of Cetamol into the market within 2 days after a meeting with Department of Drug Administration to address the shortage; Health Ministry has said there is no shortage of Cetamol as has been portrayed in the market; health center in Satdobato fined for creating artificial shortage; Health Ministry warns that action will be taken against anyone found to be involved in the buying and selling of COVID-19 vaccine that is being given for free by the government