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28 Jul 20

Covid-19: Update from Nepal

As lockdown in Nepal begins to ease, the strict measures put in place to inhibit the transmission of the coronavirus have successfully resulted in a decreased rate of new cases. At the time of writing, there have been 18,241 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Nepal; 12,840 people have recovered; 5,538 are in self-isolation, and there have been 43 recorded deaths. The rate of new cases is currently around 100 to 150 per day, a considerable decrease from previous rates exceeding 500 cases per day. Similar decreases have been reported across all our project areas.

Whilst this decrease is promising, the wider economic impact brought on by lockdown measures is far from over. Many livelihood activities have been halted which has resulted in a significant decline in average household income across all of Nepal. Lockdown has also resulted in a decrease in food security, nutrition, access to healthcare services as well as a general rise in the price of food and hygiene products. These issues are extremely worrying, particularly for households in remote communities and those who have at least one vulnerable family member at home. See our recent Coronavirus Impact Assessment for further details.

The easing of the lockdown has allowed greater freedom and movement in Nepal, which has enabled PHASE Nepal staff to expand their activities in supporting communities as they get through the worst of the pandemic and the impact of lockdown.

Recent Activities:

  • In coordination with local authorities, PHASE staff have established health desks at the entry points to 12 villages. With many migrant workers returning from India, these health desks are designed to inform workers returning home on the new protocols and preventative measures in place in their villages. So far, over 15,000 people have utilised these new facilities.
  • Earlier this year, the main connecting road between Kathmandu and the Far West was cut-off in several places by landslides, completely halting traffic and disrupting the transportation of goods. PHASE’s mobile health teams have advised workers repairing the roads on specific Covid-19 safety measures. PHASE health teams have also provided health education and training to 22 road building facilitators.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, more than 20,000 people have received emergency and essential health services from PHASE supported health posts in Far West Nepal. During this time, we were able to refer patients exhibiting cases such as complicated births, hypertension, severe pneumonia, and childhood malnutrition to hospitals so that they were able to receive appropriate care.
  • PHASE Nepal and the local government in Gorkha collectively organised and financed the evacuation of a seriously ill child from Keraunja to a hospital in Kathmandu. Keraunja is in the north of Gorkha which currently has no road access due to monsoon rains and landslides.

Importantly, as the lockdown has eased, we have also been able to re-start our community outreach programmes in small groups. With time, these programs will be expanded to the wider community level. These programmes will play an important role in ensuring that the communities we support recover from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic and that no one is left behind.

If you have any specific questions about our work or our response, please don’t hesitate to contact our Director at tom@phaseworldwide.org


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