Assessment of COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal: A Lockdown Scenario Analysis

Front Public Health. 2021 Apr 8;9:599280. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.599280. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

The Government of Nepal issued a nationwide lockdown from 24 March to 21 July 2020, prohibiting domestic and international travels, closure of the border and non-essential services. There were only two confirmed cases from 610 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests and no fatalities when the government introduced nationwide lockdown. This study aimed to explore the overall scenario of COVID-19 including spatial distribution of cases; government efforts, and impact on public health, socio-economy, and education during the lockdown in Nepal. We collated and analyzed data using official figures from the Nepalese Ministry of Health and Population. Nepal had performed 7,791 RT-PCR tests for COVID-19, the highest number of tests during the lockdown. It has recorded its highest daily rise in coronavirus infections with a total of 740 new cases from the total of 4,483 RT-PCR tests performed on a single day. Nepal had reported a total of 17,994 positive cases and 40 deaths at the end of lockdown. The spatial distribution clearly shows that the cases were rapidly spreading from the southern part of the country where most points of entry and exit from India are located. To contain the spread of the virus, the government has also initiated various preventive measures and strategies during the lockdown. The Government of Nepal needs to allocate more resources, increase its capacity to test and trace, establish dedicated isolation and quarantine facility and impose local restrictions such as a local lockdown based on risk assessment rather than a nationwide lockdown.

Keywords: COVID-19; Nepal; challenges; coronavirus; impacts; lockdown; public health; spatial distribution analysis.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing
  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Nepal / epidemiology
  • Pandemics*
  • Quarantine
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Travel