The majority of Nepal is now under full or partial Covid-19 lockdown, according to the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs.
Only five districts remain open out of a total of 77 with 64 under full and eight under partial lockdown, the ministry reported.
Districts under full lockdown have asked both public and private vehicles to stay off the roads. All academic institutions and businesses are closed except those related to essential services.
Most districts have allowed grocery stores to open for limited hours.
The Covid-19 measures are enforced by the chief district officers from their respective districts. The central government had previously given authority to districts to impose full or partial lockdown.
Oxygen supply: Nepal’s Supreme Court urged the government to set up a task force to direct the distribution of oxygen cylinders and other life-saving equipment amid rising Covid-19 infections.
In an interim order on Tuesday, the court said no Nepali should be deprived of medical treatment due to a shortage of life-saving equipment, such as oxygen cylinders, medicine, and well-equipped hospital beds.
It said the government has the responsibility to ensure the timely supply of these equipment to save lives, and that they should form a task force to ensure “efficient coordination” in their distribution.
Some context: Nepal had seen case numbers begin to fall in February, with newly identified cases hovering between 50 to 100 each day. But infections erupted in mid-April as neighboring India’s second wave picked up speed.