More than 30 fatalities nationwide for a second day in a row as Nepal is hit by second wave
All photos: AMIT MACHAMASI
As a resurgence of Covid-19 engulfs Nepal, the two incinerators at the sole electric crematorium in Kathmandu have been in operation non-stop for the past week.
The daily death toll on Thursday and Friday surpassed the highest daily rate during the first peak in October. The number of new cases detected every day is now also at about the same level as the highest point last year, and the rate of increase is much steeper.
On Friday, 5,657 new cases were reported across Nepal, with nearly 3,000 of them in Kathmandu Valley. There were 33 Covid-19 fatalities on Friday, and 35 on Thursday – most of them in Kathmandu Valley. The official death toll from Covid-19 is now 3,279, although public health experts put the number at much higher.
The electric crematorium in Pashupati has been set aside for Covid-19 patients, with the Nepal Army handling the bodies. Relatives are not allowed inside to perform last rites and many distraught relatives are seen outside the gate with garlands and flowers in their hands.
The total confirmed cases in Nepal has now reach 323,187, with 281,095 recoveries. There are now nearly 39,000 active cases in the country, up from a low of 480 in mid-March. This means the recovery rate has dropped from 98% last month to 87%. Only 928 people were discharged from hospitals, or recovered from the virus on Friday.
The 5,657 new cases were detected out of nearly 16,000 PCR tests in the past 24 hours, and this shows that the positivity rate has also risen sharply to more than 35%. Of the new cases in Kathmandu Valley, 2,404 were in Kathmandu, 419 in Lalitpur and 133 in Bhaktapur. The Tarai cities like Birganj, Nepalganj, Dhangadi and Bhairawa also reported high rates of infections.
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