KATHMANDU: Minister for Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi has said the government is preparing to close schools in big cities of the country including Kathmandu for one month in view of the surge in Covid-19 infection.
Health Minister Tripathi said this while addressing a face-to-face programme organised by the Health Journalists Forum here today.
He said the topic of running online classes by closing the schools for one month was also discussed in the meeting of the Council of Ministers and the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) following an increase in the risk of new variant of the coronavirus. “Preparations have been made to run online classes at least for one month in the city areas. Seven to eight hundred thousand students can take classes remaining at home when online classes are conducted and this will reduce the movement up to 20 per cent,” Minister Tripathi said. According to him, the new variant of coronavirus has infected the youth and children also and so it is scary. “No vaccine has been developed for people below 18 years. The new variant of coronavirus is found spreading to children as well and the government is preparing to run online classes to stem the risk of infection among the children,” he explained.
The Minister for Health and Population also shared that the number of coronavirus infection cases is projected to reach 600 thousand by the end of Ashar (July 15, 2021) if the infection was to increase at the present rate. “There will be 11 thousand cases daily at the present rate and the total figure would hit 600 thousand till the end of Ashar.” Tests would be carried out at the border transit points and people found infected would be placed in isolation centres for stemming the infection, he said, informing that construction works were on for building holding centres with a capacity of accommodating 1,000 people at the main transit points along the Nepal-India border. Health Minister Tripathi also said that preparations have been made for prevention and control of the disease rather than the imposition of shutdown.
As he said, the new variant of coronavirus is said to have the capacity of infecting 40 people from one infected person as against the first virus, the transmission rate of which was six persons from a single infected case.
The Health Minister shared on the occasion that the delay in the arrival of additional Covishield vaccines from India was because of the sudden spike in coronavirus cases there. He said the one million doses of the vaccine would be brought from India at the earliest. He also informed that the Health Secretary would also be appointed very soon, latest by 10 or 15 days.
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