Life & Health
The Ministry of Health and Population has urged people to strictly follow Covid safety measures while alerting health desks at key entry points to stay prepared to monitor and handle Covid cases.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry has urged people to strictly follow Covid safety measures such as masking up, washing hands and maintaining social distance in crowded areas.
"We need to remain alert with the rising number of cases in our neighbouring countries. As the number of infections has been rising in other countries, the health ministry has been working to increase surveillance co-ordinating with the countries where more cases have been reported," the statement said.
The government's move follows reports of a sharp increase in Covid cases in neighbouring China and other Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan. It has come days after a noted US epidemiologist, Eric Feigl-Ding, warned of millions of Covid deaths in Asia, in the next few months.
Reports say Covid cases are also rising in the United States and Brazil.
Dr Chuman Lal Das, the director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division said: "People have started taking the infection lightly. Covid tests, too have decreased. Now we will increase the number of tests at the entry points."
He added that the health authorities would work to ensure that preventive measures are followed to check the possible spread of Covid.
Eric Feigl-Ding, an American public health scientist and economist, on December 19 described China's Covid outbreak as "thermonuclear bad" as hospitals have become overwhelmed with new cases.
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and chief of the Covid Task Force at the New England Complex Institute, stated in a tweet that "more than 60 per cent of China and 10 per cent of Earth's population are likely to be infected over the next 90 days with deaths likely in the millions."
The World Health Organization, however, has not issued any such alert as of Thursday evening.
Nepal has been reporting single-digit new cases of coronavirus cases. According to the Ministry of Health, of the 1,190 tests conducted in the country in the past 24 hours, only one tested positive for Covid on December 22. There are only 15 active cases of coronavirus in the country.
Nepal so far has reported 12,019 deaths as of December 22.
Dr Anup Bastola, director at the Curative Health Division under the Health Ministry, said: "We should see how the other countries will work to stop the spread of infection. But we immediately need to work on increasing immunity against coronavirus infection."
He continued: "As various countries have started inoculating bivalent vaccines to increase immunity against different infection variants, we too need to work on that. Updates in guidelines for the prevention and treatment of the infection are necessary. We are updating the guidelines for preventing, controlling and treating coronavirus."
As the cases in different countries have soared, India is reportedly reviewing the pandemic situation. India's Health Ministry has urged all states and Union territories to ramp up the whole genome sequencing of positive samples to keep track of newer variants.
Nepal's Health Ministry has said that from among the 48 samples collected from across the country within the last month omicron variant has been detected in them. The country has not yet reported the BF.7 variant till now.
Omicron BF.7 is a mutant of the Omicron and has one of the highest transmissibility amongst all Covid variants.