Nepal fears future wave of coronavirus will hit children hard
Nepal on Friday asked its hospitals to reserve beds for the children on fear that a new wave of coronavirus infections could hit them hard, something officials in neighboring India are also bracing for. Read more
The move came as the government approved the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Sinovac Biotech (SVA.O) of China for emergency use.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s government has been criticized by experts for its handling of the ongoing second wave in Nepal, which has resulted in severe shortages of oxygen, hospital beds and medicine.
“Hospitals and medical facilities should reserve at least 20% of beds for children, who are likely to suffer the most from potential third and fourth waves of coronavirus,” the Department of Health and Population said in a statement .
“Hospitals must also ensure the availability of sufficient oxygen.”
Daily infections in the Himalayan nation hover around 5,000 after peaking at over 9,000 in early May. Nepal had reported less than 100 daily cases in March. It reported a total of 581,560 infections and 7,731 deaths.
Donors have rushed aid, including oxygen, protective gear, medicine and face masks, to the country, which is also struggling to get hold of vaccines after neighboring India halted the exports to meet local demand.
Santosh KC, a spokesperson for the Department of Drug Administration, said that “conditional authorization for emergency use” had been given for the coronavirus vaccine (Corona Vac) manufactured by Sinovac Biotech of China, the fifth vaccine to be approved by Nepal.
Previously, it had approved two vaccines made in India – that of AstraZeneca
Nepal has provided at least 3.1 million vaccines to its people so far.
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