COVID-19 cases on steady rise as Omicron variant raises alarm

KATHMANDU: COVID-19 cases are rising each day in the country.  The infection graph is seeing a steady rise when the lately detected Omicron variant of the virus draws the concern globally. With the soaring cases of the virus, the test coverage based on both PCR and antigen screening has also got escalated. 

According to  Dr Sangita Mishra, Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population, this week the infections rate went up by 9.2 percent compared to the last week.   

The Omicron variant is said to be highly transmissible as one infected with this variant can transmit the virus to up to 10 people, unlike the past variants.  During the first wave of pandemics, one could pass on the virus up to two while the Delta variant could spread from one to up to four or five. Medical assessment so far suggests that this variant spreads at a faster pace.

According to Dr Mishra, last week, 2,030 samples, out of 49,877 for PCR test, were tested positive and the figure rose to 8,373 from 62,755 lab tests.      

This week’s infection rate is 13.3 percent. An unvaccinated individual has the chance of catching up the virus of the Omicron variant 10 times more than the vaccinated one. Likewise, unvaccinated people have the chances of hospitalization with COVID-19 complications 17 times more and the probability of fatality is 20 times more than in case of vaccinated people.  

The country reports over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a week (from January 6 to 12).    

Vaccination coverage of the first dose has increased two percent and second dose four percent this week as compared to the previous, said Dr Mishra. 

Of the target population, 76.9 percent received the first dose and 57.6 percent full dose. On Wednesday alone, 214,057 people were vaccinated against the infection. The government has aimed to increase vaccination coverage by two-thirds of the population by January 14. 

Bagmati and Gandaki provinces are keeping up with the target while the remaining provinces have intensified the vaccination drive. 

Meanwhile, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office has started intervening in public places in a bid to combat the infection risk.

The Metropolis serving as the central Capital has the highest population with the high population density and it obviously faces the greater risk from the virus due to this. The metropolis consisting of 32 wards has started making the people aware publicly of face coverings in public and take all required safety measures against the virus.  RSS



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