| A COVID19 patient waits to receive oxygen outside an emergency ward of a hospital in Kathmandu Nepal | MR Online A COVID-19 patient waits to receive oxygen outside an emergency ward of a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal

Doctors in Nepal warn people could die on streets amid Covid crisis

Originally published: Morning Star (May 2021 )  | - Posted May 10, 2021

DOCTORS in Nepal warned of a major crisis today, saying that people could die on the streets after daily coronavirus cases in the country hit a record high.

Nepal reported 9,070 new confirmed cases on Thursday, compared to 298 a month ago.

The number of deaths also reached a record high on Wednesday with 58 fatalities, taking the death toll to 3,529.

The Hospital for Advanced Medicine and Surgery chief Jyotindra Sharma said: “Right now there are no beds available today in any hospital that is treating Covid patients.

Even if any beds were made available, there is a huge scarcity of oxygen and we are not at the peak of this crisis.

Extra beds were crammed to accommodate more people at the hospital in Kathmandu, one of the leading facilities in Nepal for treating Covid-19 patients.

Any new patients waiting to be admitted will have to join a waiting list.

“In the extreme situation, people could be dying in the streets,” Mr Sharma said, adding that it’s “just not possible to immediately increase the capacity of the hospitals.”

Last month, a lockdown was imposed in major cities and towns, and Nepal this week stopped both domestic and international flights.

The government has pledged several times to increase the number of hospital beds and boost the treatment and preventive measures, but there have not yet been any changes.

Nepal began its vaccination campaign in January, with one million doses of the AstraZeneca shots donated by India, but it has been suspended because of India’s own crisis.

The programme resumed when China donated 800,000 doses, and Nepal is negotiating with Russia for supplies of the Sputnik V shots.

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