India’s COVID-19 surge has spilt into neighbouring Nepal. The military is adding hospital beds as outbreaks have reached some Mount Everest base camps. According to World Health Organisation, COVID-19 cases rose 137 per cent last week.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies told Reuters that urgent international support is needed to prevent a worsening humanitarian crisis in South Asian countries.
Several of Nepal’s hospitals, especially the towns near the border with India are unable to handle the increasing number of patients.
“Nepal is recording 57 times more cases than this time last month,” IFRC (The International Federation of Red Cross) said. IFRC's Nepal chairperson Dr Netra Prasad Timsina “What is happening in India right now is a horrifying preview of Nepal's future if we cannot contain this latest COVID surge that is claiming more lives by the minute”.
WHO said on Wednesday that India accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and 25 per cent of deaths last week. With fewer doctors per capita, Nepal has a fragile healthcare system. Currently, Nepal is recording 57 times as many cases as a month ago.
One of the main causes of rapid spread in cases is the failure to impose restrictions on mass gatherings at festivals and weddings. Due to increasing cases, Nepal has tightened borders and imposed travel restrictions. The government has also imposed strict lockdowns in its worse affected areas.