The ongoing lockdown/prohibitory order in Kathmandu Valley since 29 April, has been extended further till 28 June with some relaxation. The measures include private vehicle and taxi operation on an odd-even basis and opening of small businesses to be effective for one week. Everyday groceries, fruit and vegetable shops, department stores, dairy shop, stationery shops will open till 11 AM, while construction material shops will open from 11 AM- 6 PM. Jewellery, utensils, electronics, household appliances and automobile shops will open from 11 AM- 4 PM on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and shopping malls; shops selling sports items, clothes and shoes, tailoring shops, gift shops will open from 11 AM4 PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The daily number of total cases in the country has been coming down gradually, but this is also because the number of tests is coming down, according to doctors. From 22,353 PCR tests on 21 May, test numbers have been declining and 7,010 were reported on 19 June. Overall, the number of cases may be going down nationwide, but based on PCR tests, Province 1 has 29 % positivity rate, Province 2 has 18 % Bagmati Province has 22 %, Gandaki Province 37%, Lumbini Province 19 %, Karnali Province 37 % and Sudurpaschim Province has 9 % positivity rate as of 19 June.
The Ministry of Health and Population on 21 June has confirmed the detection of a new mutation of Delta variant (B.1.617.2), in Nepal. This mutated form of the coronavirus is said to be active in over 10 countries across the globe, including Nepal.
731,653 people have received both shots, while 2,500,196 people have got the first shot of vaccine against the coronavirus disease as of 21 June across the country.
Experts say the third wave could be deadlier for Nepal given the low vaccination coverage and complacency on the part of the government agencies as well as the general public. Health experts in India have predicted a third COVID-19 wave by October and this warning comes as a major cause for concern in Nepal.
All seven provinces unveiled their budgets for the next fiscal year 2021-22 beginning mid-July, putting maximum focus on constructing advanced health care systems and infrastructure, and allocating funds to vaccinate all people against the coronavirus.
The government of Nepal has decided to buy four million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China for which the talks are ongoing. The government aims to launch another inoculation drive from mid-July.
Floods, landslides triggered by incessant rain have caused massive damage to life and property in different areas. As of 19 June, 17 deaths, 21 missing and 593 families are displaced across the country. While districts like Palpa, Manang, Pyuthan, Syangja, Lamjung and Bajura have been hit hard, Sindhupalchok is affected the most, with hundreds of houses already inundated.
The monsoon displacements in the days could complicate pandemic as the temporary shelters for the displaced can turn into coronavirus hotspots while there is the risk of water-borne and vector-borne infections.