With the spike of coronavirus cases in the second wave, Nepal’s health system is now facing a major strain. Given the current rate of infection and fatality, Nepal is likely to see the number of infections and deaths doubling within few months. As Nepal had made good progress maintaining the level of COVID-19 below 100, it opened all the economic activities ignoring the capability of the virus to spread. Unlike in the first phase, Nepal did not close its border and discontinue flights to India despite the major threat of spreading the virus in the country.
Along with political rallies, festivals, marriage ceremonies and other such activities, the full opening of schools without maintaining a proper safeguard give open space to the virus to spread at the community level. Due to all these activities, the success achieved by Nepal in yearlong effort has crumbled just in a matter of 15 days. Facing all political troubles due to the breaking up of the party, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli led the government to ignore the warning issued by health experts and the Ministry of Health and Population. Following the surge and saturation of patients in the hospitals, the government finally took a drastic step by announcing lockdown, border closure and other activities. However, the country has started to see the painful scenario. As the country’s 22 districts, including Kathmandu Valley, are now under a three-week lockdown, how this helps to curb the pandemic spread remains to be seen. At a time when the country has been passing through this kind of situation, it is the duty of all the citizens to abide by the rules and support the steps taken by the government. New Spotlight also calls for its readers to take all the caution and support the initiative taken by the government to control the virus. This is our cover story for this issue.