The devastating carnivirus crisis is wreaking havoc on neighboring India, where escalating incidents have pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse and threatened challenging industries in the Himalayan economy.
The new outbreak in Nepal has kept pace with India, with an increase of about 9,000 per day in April 13 confirmed cases. Many respiratory patients have been unable to seek medical help from Nepal’s overcrowded healthcare system due to a severe lack of essential respiratory oxygen.
“We are watching young people die,” said Dr Raushan Pokhrel, an expert at Nepal’s health ministry. “If we don’t get oxygen. . . We will not be able to manage. “
He stressed that the crisis arose mainly in the events that took place in India, with which Nepal shares a long border and close socio-economic and economic ties. Religious pilgrims and migrant workers fleeing the lockdown are among those returning to Nepal from India in recent weeks.
Kathmandu and the border areas suffered the most. The virus also found its way to Mount Everest base camp, where about 1,500 climbers, porters and support workers gathered, which is considered to be one of the finest mountains in the world today.
The climbing and trekking industry centered on the world’s highest mountain in the dramatic Khumbu Valley is one of the core regions of Nepal’s economy.
Lukas Furtenbach, an Austrian leading the Everest team, said the Himalayan Rescue Association, which runs a medical clinic at the base camp, had confirmed at least 30 cases of the virus, although there were rumors of more cases.
“Each team has different precautions. There are no official guidelines, “Fartenbach said, adding that his team has closed the camp to outsiders, followed strict hygiene rules and regular Covid-19 tests.
“For the amount of people [at base camp] The situation seems to be under control, but it could change quickly if the parties do not adhere to safety precautions, ”he added.
Nepal has not confirmed the number of virus infections at the base camp, but the mountaineering helicopter reported the evacuation of people with coronavirus symptoms.
Returning from base camp last month, Nepali journalist Rojita Adhikari, who tested positive for Kovid-19, suspected that the government was reluctant to confirm the extent of Everest. “If they accept Kovid, they will have to cancel [the climbing season] Because they can’t risk the lives of the riders and the Sherpas, ”he told the Financial Times from Kathmandu.
Pokharel took the risk and said the riders were tested before proceeding. He said there were “not a significant number of cases” among mountaineers. “We riders are not concerned about spreading it to the community,” he added.
Efforts to conquer Everest continue this week. At least 150 climbers reached the top, according to Alan Arnett, who closely followed the Everest blog by Tuesday.
China, which closed the mountain side to foreign mountaineers this year, said last week that it would set up a “line of separation” at the summit to prevent 21 Chinese nationals traveling on the Nepalese route from coming into contact. Mountains from Tibet.
Furtenbach doubted that anyone with a Covid-19 would be strong enough to fill the roof of the world in four days. “We don’t see a lot of sick people at the summit,” he said.
Some have criticized the Nepali government and mountaineering for encouraging and following the spread of the dangerous form across South Asia.
Dr Sunil Sharma, a surgeon at Nepal Medicity Hospital in Kathmandu, told FT that it was “stupid for anyone to travel to Everest” during the epidemic, “and we feel bad for most local Sherpas.”
Despite lockdowns across many parts of Nepal, new infections are expected to increase further in the coming weeks. The death toll is also rising, with a record 225 on Wednesday.
About 130 Medicity of Kovid-19 stopped receiving new coronavirus patients due to lack of oxygen and sent some of the sick people to other hospitals.
“We could not reach our peak [but] It looks like our healthcare system is going to collapse, “Sharma said.
About 50,000 Nepalis who are believed to have marched to the Kumbh Mela festival after the Indian government encouraged greater participation, boosted Kovid’s enthusiasm in this area.
The festival, which attracted millions of Hindu devotees, was also a source of pathogens. Among the victims was Gyanendra Shah, the first king of Nepal.
Analysts say the Nepalese government is keen on a political fight to tackle the crisis. Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has appealed for international help, lost a no-confidence vote this week and led the caretaker administration.
“Political leadership [in Nepal] Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch said that they were completely deprived of the health crisis because they were enchanted by their political dissent.