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Covid in Nepal

Nepal closes schools as Covid-19 cases spike

A Nepalese police officer wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) stands guard while keeping watch over vehicles during a COVID-19 lockdown in Kathmandu, Nepal, 20 May 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/NARENDRA SHRESTHA)

KATHMANDU, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Schools across Nepal will close for nearly three weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases, a government spokesman said on Monday, forcing more than seven million students to stay at home.

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)

Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email 

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