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More Than 325 Nepalis Succumb To COVID-19 Infections Worldwide

Pandemic Affecting More Nepalis in Nepal Now, Compared To Nepalis Living Abroad .
Representative image photo: John F. Malta

By Manoj Rijal, NEW YORK: More than 325 Nepalis have died of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, including 126 deaths in Nepal and at least 200 deaths abroad, as of August 20, 2020.

According to the data compiled by Nepal24Hours, among the countries recording the highest number of Nepalis’ deaths abroad included Britain, the US, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar Ireland, Japan, Turkey, the Netherlands, India, Sweden, and South Africa, among others. 

“As we have observed, the pandemic is somehow affecting fewer Nepalis abroad, while still infecting a large number of Nepalis within Nepal,” said Suneel Sah, President of Non-Resident Nepalis’ Association in the US.

In South Asia, however, Nepal’s situation is not as worse as that of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

According to John Hopkins University data, India is the most affected country in South Asia with at least 2.8 million COVID-19 infections and 54,000 deaths. Pakistan ranks second with at least 290,000 infections and 6,000 deaths. 

Bangladesh and Afghanistan are third and fourth most hit countries in South Asia with at least 285,000 and 37,000 infections, and 6,000 and 3,800 deaths, respectively.

Nepal ranks fifth in South Asia with 29,645 infections, and 126 deaths. The Maldives and Sri Lanka have better situations than Nepal with at least 6,200 and 2900 infections coupled with 24 and 11 deaths, respectively.

Bhutan is the least affected country in South Asia with 150 cases and zero deaths until today.

The virus has, so far, infected more than 22 million people worldwide, causing at least 792,000 deaths. The US has been affected the most with more than 5.7 million cases and at least 176,000 deaths.

This trend is followed by 3.4 million cases in Brazil, 2.8 million cases in India, 942,000 cases in Russia, and 596,000 cases in South Africa, respectively. The sixth place is held by Peru (558,000), followed by Mexico (537,000), Colombia (500,000), Chile (390,000), and Spain (387,000), respectively.

In terms of deaths, the US, Brazil (111,000) and India are followed by Mexico (58,000), UK (41,000), Italy (35,000), France (30,000), Spain (28,000), Peru (26,000), Iran (20,000) and Colombia (15,000), respectively.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, the central bank – Nepal Rastra Bank – has announced that it would resume bank operations all over the country from Friday, August 21, onward.

“Earlier, there was some misunderstanding between bankers and the police administration. Now that we have resolved our differences, all banks are set to resume operations from Friday onward,” said Dr. Gunakar Bhatta, the central bank’s spokesperson.

Amid an ongoing prohibition order issued by the three district administrations of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, only essential services are allowed, while almost all other businesses, services, and travels have been banned.

“We have re-announced lockdown for one more week in three districts of Kathmandu valley owing to a dangerous spike in the cases of coronavirus infections,” said Janak Raj Dahal, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kathmandu district.

“After several rounds of meeting among three CDOs of Kathmandu valley and other government officials, we reached to a conclusion that, if we were to save our capital region of Kathmandu, there was no other way than to declare a strong prohibition order coupled with a strict lockdown,” Dahal said. 

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