Nepal is currently in the grips of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second wave began from mid-April 2021, and daily infection rates have steadily been growing to a daily average of almost 9,000 per day from 300+ per day a month ago. As of 18th May 2021, a total of 5,411 deaths, 472,354 confirmed cases and 114,529 active cases have been recorded. The positivity rate, which is highest globally, is hovering around 45% nationally, with a transmission rate of 1.8 %.
A key factor of this rapid spike has been the emergence of more infectious variant from India, where foot traffic between the two countries is high with 1800 kilometers of open border. Fifty percent of the young people from Western Nepal are seasonal workers in India who have returned to their villages as India’s Covid-19 cases surged. Districts along the border with India such as Banke and Nepalgunj among others have become hotspots for the outbreak, along with Kathmandu.
ACT Nepal Forum members DanChurchAid (DCA), ICCO/Cordaid, and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) are responding to fill the gap of unmet needs of the most vulnerable communities in Nepal with a budget of US$617,372, reaching out to 174,134 households in rural areas to raise awareness on Covid-19 infection prevention and the benefits of vaccination; support to public health institutions and households on prevention and treatment; and livelihood support to people who lost their jobs.