Nepal into “phase two” of pandemic as COVID-19 cases rise


KATHMANDU, April 4: The government said Nepal has entered into phase two of the pandemic after the health authorities confirmed the country’s first case of local transmission on Saturday.

Another two imported cases were also confirmed today — three in a single day for the first time in Nepal — taking the total infection to nine.

Two new patients are returnees from India whereas the other carried the infection from the 34-year-old Dubai returnee who had tested positive on March 27.

Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that a 21-year-old male from Kailali, who recently returned from Mumbai and a 41-year-old male from Kanchanpur, who returned from Uttarakhand, have tested positive. Likewise, a 34-year-old woman from Kailali who is sister-in-law by relation to the 34-year-old coronavirus patient has also tested positive.

“As Nepal has now its first case of local transmission, the country is in the second phase of the pandemic,” said ministry Spokesperson Bikash Devkota during a press briefing.

He also urged people to support the government’s initiatives to contain the outbreak while asking those in quarantine to stay isolated for more than 14 days.

Nepal is under a nationwide lockdown since March 24. But as the virus spread continues, the government is likely to extend the lockdown for another week.

The Health Ministry has also advised to the government to extend the lockdown from 14 days up to 21 days.