Nepal Bans Big Public Gatherings, Closes Schools Amid Surge In COVID Cases

Authorities hope the closure of schools will help break chains of infection amid fears about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.

Updated: January 11, 2022 10:26 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Sanstuti Nath

Nepal Bans Big Public Gatherings, Closes Schools Amid Surge In COVID Cases
Nepal bans big public gatherings, closes schools amid surge in COVID cases

Kathmandu: Amid the spike, in COVID-19 cases, Nepal has banned large public gatherings and closed schools across the country for nearly three weeks. Nepal reported 1,357 new cases on Monday, the biggest single-day jump since September last year, taking the total COVID tally of the Himalayan nation to 833,946. The fatality count due to coronavirus infection stands at 11,606 in the country.

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Nepal’s Home Ministry spokesman Pradip Kumar Koirala on Monday said public gatherings like political rallies and religious functions involving more than 25 people had been prohibited. “Entry to hotels, restaurants, cinema halls and public offices as well as parks from January 21 will be given to those providing proof of being vaccinated against the coronavirus,” Koirala told Reuters.

Nepal government on Monday decided to make ‘vaccination cards’– the proof of COVID-19 inoculation, mandatory for entry into public spaces such as government offices, hotels, cinema halls, among other places from January 17, said Sunita Nepal, Spokesperson, COVID Crisis Management Center

Earlier the government had also ordered schools to close for almost three weeks until January 29. Education Ministry spokesman Deepak Sharma had said a campaign to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 at their schools would go ahead. “Schools must notify students about the time and date when they need to go to schools and receive the shots,” Sharma said.

Authorities hope the closure of schools will help break chains of infection amid fears about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.

Last week, the government asked hospitals to prepare for increased numbers of patients as COVID-19 cases could increase sharply. Hospitals have been ordered to maintain adequate supplies of oxygen and keep staff at the ready.

Nepal has reported 27 cases of infections with the Omicron but no deaths from it. Nepal has provided two shots of COVID-19 vaccines to 37 per cent of its population of 30 million since an inoculation drive began a year ago.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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Published Date: January 11, 2022 10:25 PM IST

Updated Date: January 11, 2022 10:26 PM IST