September 7, 2023
KATHMANDU – The Health Office Kathmandu has decided to initiate a vaccination drive against Covid-19 from September 11 to 16 in the district.
Officials say the drive aims to avert the risk of a possible surge of new versions of the Omicron variant spreading in many countries across the globe.
“Those who have not yet taken additional shots or have not taken the first, second and third doses of the vaccine should get inoculated,” said Sagar Ghimire, chief of the Health Office Kathmandu. “Even if the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that Covid-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, the risks of infection and a new surge have not lessened.”
Officials informed that the Health Office has more than 22,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine in stock.
Meanwhile, the WHO has said that it is currently tracking several Covid-19 “variants of interest”, including EG.5 and BA.2.86, that have been spreading in several countries including Qatar and India. Thousands of Nepali migrant workers serve in Qatar and India and frequently travel to and from those countries.
Both EG.5 and BA.2.86 are descendants of the Omicron variant of coronavirus and have been detected in dozens of countries, including the US.
Scientists tracking the BA.2.86 say that the new sub-variant of the virus is different from its previous versions as it easily escapes antibodies produced in response to earlier infections—even more than EG.5 does.
In Nepal, new cases of Covid-19 have almost stopped being reported of late. No death from Covid-19 infection has been reported since May 4.
Given the decline in the infection rate, all preventive measures such as wearing face masks, handwashing, and social-distancing have been removed.
As many as 12,312 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported in Nepal so far, according to the official count.