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NEPAL AND THE CORONAVIRUS
While Southern European countries are very progressively lifting the lockdown, Nepal is having to deal with a rise of the coronavirus in its population. “The curve” is still rising there and has not yet peaked…
The first people diagnosed positive for Covid-19 were Nepalese workers overseas (principally in the Gulf states) returning home at the end of March/beginning of April. These people were immediately put into quarantine, either in specially designated buildings or in their village homes. To date, Nepal has just over 500 patients testing positive for coronavirus and 3 deaths, but the number is certainly under-estimated given the small number of patients tested and difficult access to the villages.
Nepal is in strict lockdown since 24 March. Everything is closed, including the international airport. Only a few charter planes have managed to land in April and early May to bring back foreign tourists who were still in Nepal at the time.
In view of the health conditions, the Nepal Mountain Hospital decided as early as the end of February to cancel the three surgical camps this spring (Khotang, Dolakha, Sankhuwasabha) planned for March. In addition, it would have been difficult to obtain some of the medicines made in India since India has decided to limit export of certain medicines.
By contrast, our little business of making and sterilisation of one use material has got down to work and produced thousands of masks and visors, as well as protective clothes for medical personnel in hospitals and for the population at large.
We hope to be able to restart the activities of the Mobile Hospital from the end of this year, but clearly it will be in the context of the world health situation that we will take the appropriate decision.