“Oxygen, vaccines, essential medical supplies urgently needed,” says AI in new briefing

Jun 14, 2021

Image: Pexels via Nataliya Vaitkevich

Kathmandu, June 14: Nepal’s politicians must set aside their differences and take decisive action in the coming weeks to save thousands of lives as the country endures a deadly second wave of COVID-19, said Amnesty International (AI) in a new briefing published today.

The briefing also calls for increased support from the international community. The briefing, Struggling to Breathe: The Second Wave of Covid-19 in Nepal, examines the virus’ devastating impact on the country’s underfunded health system and the consequences of medicine and equipment shortages for hospital staff and Covid-19 patients.

It also addresses the so far inadequate response of Nepal’s authorities, and the particularly harsh impact the pandemic is having on the country’s most marginalized groups.

“While Nepal’s leaders have engaged in infighting that has seen the country’s parliament dissolved twice in the past five months, Covid-19 has run rampant. Nepal currently has one of the world’s highest infection rates and, in April, the country’s Ministry of Health projected an additional 300,000 cases by July.”

It said Nepal’s infrastructure is already creaking under current caseloads, with dire shortages of oxygen, ICU beds, personal protective equipment and vaccines.