Nepal is the New COVID-19 Hotspot: The Cure is Citizen Engagement

Kathmandu’s main infectious diseases hospital in Teku is full, and patients are being cared for in open verandahs and parking lots – a scene repeated in government hospitals across the country. Credit: Nepali Times.By Narayan Adhikari and Sanjeeta PantKATHMANDU, May 20 2021 (IPS) If you live in Nepal, a quick survey of friends and family will quickly prove how rapidly Covid-19 infection rates have spiked. For instance, out of 50 people we called last week, more than half had been infected, with the rest reporting that their extended families or colleagues had tested positive. Recently, the sister-in-law of one of the authors- just 58 years old- died from the virus. She would have survived COVID-19 but despite a frantic rush around the city, we could not find an ICU bed in any of the hospitals in Kathmandu. These are the kinds of stories that are now dominating headlines- as our health system buckles under pressure. People are dying while waiting in line not just for treatment, but for COVID-19 tests. Beyond vaccines, the cure for COVID-19 is citizen engagement. It is too easy- and also simply too slow during an emergency- to simply finger point at national political leaders, as culpable as they are India has dominated the COVID-19 headlines recently, but Nepal is now the global epicenter of the pandemic. The virus is spreading uncontrollably– on a per capita basis we now have 211 infections per 100,000 people, compared to India’s 130 per 100,000. And ...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Asia-Pacific Headlines Health TerraViva United Nations COVID-19 Nepal Source Type: news

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