Nepal: COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Report No. 37 (As of 21 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 15-21 May 2021. The next report will be issued on or around 28 May 2021.*


• Need for oxygen supplies remains a top priority, including 60,000 cylinders, 2,000 concentrators, 10 tanks, 7 plants and 1,000 high flow nasal canula.

• Requirements for tents and prefabricated structures to establish field hospitals, expand existing hospital capacity and manage returnees at points of entry (PoEs) in advance of the approaching monsoon season.

• Protection monitoring system has identified disruption of family livelihoods and uptake of loans among 79% of vulnerable group respondents.

• Complete unavailability of Antigen RDT tests in Province One means all migrants returning through PoEs in that province are unable to be properly screened.

• Launch of COVID-19 Response Plan this week, in support of the Government led response.

115,852 Active cases

57,454 New cases (reporting period)

44.2% Case positivity

488,645 Total cases

5,847 Total deaths


Now three weeks after new prohibitory orders were imposed in Kathmandu Valley (and since in 75 of 77 districts) daily new infections have ceased their exponential growth, but remain between 8,000-9,000 per day. National test positivity has declined slightly over the past week to just over 44%, but is over 50% in four of seven provinces, reaching as high as 59% in Karnali. RT-PCR testing capacity has reached a ceiling, and supplies of testing kits are running low, making re-supply of PCR kits and ramping up of Antigen RDT testing key priorities.

The need for oxygen remains a primary concern, while roughly 3,300 cylinders were received this week from China and Oman, these represent a small fraction of the 60,000 identified as needed by the Government of Nepal. Support for transportation both internationally and within Nepal for refilling is ongoing.

While successful in slowing the rise in infections, prohibitory orders have limited the mobility of humanitarian responders across clusters. Mobility restrictions, as well as prevalence of infection among key staff and service providers have slowed response activities. Access to sufficient PPE and prioritization of these workers for vaccination will be necessary to ensure the continuity of humanitarian work, both during the COVID-19 response and in any potential monsoon related response.

The second wave has hit poor, vulnerable and excluded groups, especially those dependent on daily labor, particularly hard. Women’s groups shared that people are facing increasing fear, disease, mental stress, hunger and starvation and loss of livelihoods in the current context. In support of the Government’s response the humanitarian community launched its COVID-19 Response Plan this week.