Nepal has registered a total of 102 deaths from the novel coronavirus so far, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.
“Death toll from the pandemic reached 102 after three new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours,” Jageshwor Gautam, a Ministry spokesperson, told Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
On May 16, Nepal reported the first death from the pandemic — a 29-year-old woman.
Till July 21, Nepal reported a total of 40 deaths.
The Ministry on Saturday reported 468 new cases, taking the total to 26,019.
But, after the lockdown was lifted on July 22 allowing almost all economic and social activities to operate largely without restrictions, the death toll also started to climb rapidly along with cases.
In just over three weeks since the lockdown was lifted, the deaths surpassed 100.
“After the lockdown was lifted, the pandemic spread among all groups of people including young, elderly and the people with existing conditions which resulted in high number of deaths,” Gautam told Xinhua.
“Before the lockdown, most of the COVID-19 cases were confined among the Nepali migrant workers; most of them were in working age with relatively stronger immunity.”
According to the Ministry, infection rate is relatively lower now compared to that a month ago.
Infection rate now is 4-6 per cent compared to 8-9 per cent a month ago, the Ministry said.
But Gautam said that the spread of the pandemic among the people suffering from diabetes and kidney problems among others, contributed to a higher number of deaths in the recent days.
On August 12, the Ministry confirmed the record-high single day fatality of eight deaths due to Covid-19.
Along with the spike in deaths, the number of critical cases is also on the rise.
On Saturday, the ministry reported 102 critical patients who have been kept at intensive care units and those at ICU with support of ventilators.
According to Gautam, the main reason behind the resurgence of cases in Nepal in the recent days is that people are ignoring the call to stay at home and not using the face masks while going outside.
A recent survey by the Nepal Health Research Council in Kathmandu Valley showed that only 72 per cent of people surveyed were found to have used the face masks while going outside.