Correspondence with five major countries for vaccine supply, infection rate estimated to decrease in a month
KATHMANDU: Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi said high-level initiatives have been taken with the United States, Britain, Russia, India, and China to procure vaccines against COVID-19.
At a virtual press conference organized by the Ministry of Health and Population on Friday, Minister Tripathi said that correspondence had been sent to those countries for the supply of vaccines.
Minister Tripathi said that he had talked to the Norwegian Ambassador on Friday to bring the vaccine in stock in Norway and that Norway had responded positively.
Stating that Nepal has so far received health equipment worth Rs 2 billion from foreign countries, Minister Tripathi said that more countries want to provide health assistance to Nepal.
Minister Tripathi informed that health desks for antigen testing and screen testing have been set up at 14 main entry points to Nepal.
Health crisis suggestions positive
Minister Tripathi said that the suggestions given by the experts to declare a health emergency are positive. This year, the President’s Office has brought the Covid-19 Crisis Management Ordinance, which includes provisions ranging from the imposition of a health emergency to the establishment of a unified hospital.
The Kathmandu district administration has already issued an additional order to tighten the prohibitory orders by implementing the provisions mentioned in the ordinance.
Infections may subside after 4 weeks
Health Minister Tripathi said the pace of infection could slow down in the next four weeks. Stating that the new variant is contagious and deadly, Minister Tripathi said that the decrease in transmission has not taken place due to the movement of people and the opening of some offices.
Stating that the number of active infected has reached 115,000, Minister Tripathi said that the standards of public health should be tightened.
Minister Tripathi said that the government has set aside 157 hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 and provided free treatment in 45 private hospitals. He also said that Rs 450 million was paid for treatment in the month of Baisakh alone.
Health Secretary Laxman Aryal said that the infection rate has not decreased as expected. Stating that the number of patients is increasing, he said that the number of infections in Kathmandu has decreased but it has not decreased as compared to the expectation. “Infection in the community is still high,” he said.