Nepal revises coronavirus death toll
KATHMANDU, Feb 24, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Nepal on Wednesday added 619 deaths —
an almost 30 percent rise — to its coronavirus toll, blaming a numbers
discrepancy between different government branches.
The toll jumped to 2,684 dead after the health ministry added 618
fatalities from last year and one new death in its daily report.
Ministry spokesman Jageshwor Gautam told AFP the extra dead had all been
Covid-19 patients who died outside hospitals before mid-December last year.
“Home deaths had not been properly accounted for in the ministry’s data,
but the army was disposing of the bodies,” Gautam said.
“We examined the numbers we had with that of the army and the Covid-19
Crisis Management Center and corrected the total.”
Investigations took place because of a mismatch in numbers from the three
branches of government.
Nepal was the first South Asian country to report a coronavirus case in
January last year — a student who had returned from Wuhan in China, the
initial epicentre of the pandemic.
The country went into lockdown in March after a second case was confirmed.
In May, a 29-year-old new mother was the first patient in Nepal to die.
Infections and deaths surged after the lockdown was lifted in the nation of
29 million people in July, with new daily cases rising above 5,000.
Numbers have since significantly come down, with just over 100 cases on
average each day and five deaths so far this week.
Nepal began a vaccination drive in January after receiving one million
doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield from India. It has ordered another two