Nepal: COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Report No. 36 (As of 14 May 2021)

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced by Office of the Resident Coordinator in collaboration with partners. It covers the period from 1-14 May 2021. The next report will be issued on or around 21 May 2021.


  • Hospitals face shortages of oxygen, beds, essential supplies and trained human resources, have reached capacity and are turning patients away in many cities.

  • Urgent need for vaccines and essential lifesaving commodities, including oxygen, critical care medicines and supplies, testing kits, PPE and temporary hospitals.

  • Stop on flights will impact the ability to import essential commodities.

  • Insufficient capacity to screen, test and monitor inflow of returnee migrants from India at land border points of entry before they travel back to their villages.

  • Current messaging around self-care and caring for loved ones is generic and ineffective. Contextualized, locally relevant messages are critically needed.

Active cases

New cases
(reporting period)

Case positivity

Total cases

Total deaths


COVID-19 infections are surging at an unprecedented rate in Nepal. The country of roughly 29 million people currently finds itself among the top ten countries in terms of absolute daily case increases, and has the highest effective rate of reproduction in the world. Test positivity has climbed just as quickly to over 45%, also the world’s highest, according to officially recorded figures. RT-PCR laboratory testing has reportedly reached the national capacity for daily tests, while use and access for Antigen RDT testing has not be adequately scaled up, largely due to shortages in supply.

Deaths have remained relatively low, but are increasing daily. With a much weaker health system than neighbouring India’s, Nepal is now at a critical juncture. Hospitals in major cities are at capacity and have had to turn patient away. Capacity is limited not only by physical infrastructure, but also by critical shortages in human resources and essential commodities such as oxygen.

Registration, health screening and Antigen RDT testing of all entrants to Nepal through land border points of entry (PoE) health desks is inadequate, as is community level surveillance, case investigation and contact tracing, severely impacting the ability to monitor and control the spread of the virus in Nepal.

The Ministry of Health and Population has released a list of essential health commodities urgently required for the response, and the humanitarian community is working to address these gaps, and the Minister of Health further highlighted the urgent need for oxygen, critical care medicines and supplies and temporary hospitals. The Social Welfare Council has requested all I/NGO members to divert 5-20% of their resources to the COVID-19 response. A consolidated COVID-19 Response Plan for the humanitarian community will be released early next week.