POSTS BY Iain Payne

Emergency Powers in Nepal: An Ordinary Response?

Compared to many other countries, the known impact of COVID-19 on public health in Nepal has thus far been small. At the time of writing (4 April), only nine COVID-19 infections have been identified. However, as in many low-income developing countries, Nepal is particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus. The country’s healthcare system is weak and, even at the best of times, hospitals suffer from chronic shortages of oxygen cylinders and ventilators—essential tools to fight the disease. Test kits are limited and the capacity to test samples in large quantities quickly is severely lacking. Moreover, while the existence of the virus within the community is known, the extent of its spread remains hidden The mass migration of workers back to their villages in pre-emption of the looming nation-wide lockdown potentially carried the virus throughout the entire country.

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