Focused COVID-19 Media Monitoring, Nepal (May 31, 2021)

Situation Report
Originally published


Emerging Themes:

  • Nepal reports 3,702 new COVID-19 cases, 109 deaths on May 30; country seeing a decline in infections, health experts suggest prohibitory orders can be relaxed gradually
  • Government has allocated Rs 122.7 million (7.5 per cent) of total budget to health sector; 30.56 per cent of budget for health sector earmarked for control and containment of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Buying COVID-19 vaccine from China is easier said than done — Chinese firm Sinopharm has asked Nepal to sign a non-disclosure agreement for commercial procurement; Health Ministry advises against local levels procuring vaccines on their own
  • Government will administer second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to those who’ve have taken the first, adult citizens will be given the vaccine: PM KP Sharma Oli
  • Black fungus seen in 4 COVID-19 patients at Nepalgunj’s Bheri Hospital, sent to Kathmandu for treatment; shortage of Amhotericin-B used in the treatment of black fungus
  • All swab samples of Sindhuli’s Marini Rural Municipality test positive, 68 per cent test positive on contact tracing; residents of Dalit-Musahar Basti of Lahan showing COVID-like symptoms for past 2 weeks
  • Bheri Hospital healthcare workers manhandled by relatives of patient who died undergoing treatment at the hospital, ICU vandalized; two more patients died as doctors had to run for their life; 6 more patients died as healthcare workers held a protest program the next day; Nepal Medical Association demand action against the culprits, ordinance to ensure safety of healthcare workers
  • 8 COVID-19 patients died at Pokhara-based Western Regional Hospital after the hospital ran out of medical oxygen on May 28; Gandaki provincial government says no one died due to disruption in oxygen supply; Gandaki Province lawmakers demand investigation into the matter
  • Kanchanpur and Chhatradev appoint medical staff to their health posts to extend best possible care for the locals there
  • Vietnam detects hybrid variant of Indian and UK variants of COVID-19 which spreads quickly by air

Recurring Themes:

  • Healthcare professionals reach Gorkha’s remote Barpak after more than 200 show COVID-19-like symptoms, 13 deaths in a week
  • Ramping up testing is not enough to break the chain of infection; it has to be backed by contact tracing, strictly isolating the infected, monitoring health condition and ensuring going to hospital if health deteriorates; monsoon brings threat of other seasonal diseases and epidemics
  • Consumer rights activists not optimistic about delivery promise made by state-run food trading companies; price of edible oils has almost doubled in recent days
  • National Education Board suggested to prepare an exam model for Secondary Education Examinations and Class XII only after analyzing the country’s COVID-19 situation; Shuvatara School shuts down due to crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic