Nepal reported 841 new cases on Sunday, the biggest single-day jump since September last year, taking its total to 832,589 since the pandemic began. Its death toll from the coronavirus is 11,604.
Education Ministry spokesman Deepak Sharma said schools would remain closed until Jan. 29 although a campaign to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 at their schools would go ahead.
“Schools must notify students about the time and date when they need to go to schools and receive the shots,” Sharma told Reuters.
Authorities hope the closure of schools will help break chains of infection amid fears about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.
Last week, the government asked hospitals to prepare for increased numbers of patients as COVID-19 cases could increase sharply.
Hospitals have been ordered to maintain adequate supplies of oxygen and keep staff at the ready. Nepal has reported 27 cases of infections with the Omicron but no deaths from it.
Nepal has provided two shots of COVID-19 vaccines to 36.7% of its population of 30 million since an inoculation drive began a year ago.
By Gopal Sharma.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma Editing by Robert Birsel)
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