Nepali billionaire Binod Chaudhary, CG Corp Global Chairman, commented that the Himalayan might have underestimated the second wave of COVID-19. The billionaire felt that Nepal has to ramp up its efforts to tackle the pandemic and postpone the general elections until the wave abates.
“I must admit, we probably underestimated, as a nation, the intensity of the second wave,” he told on Friday. This statement is fortified by Nepali’s COVID-19 infection rate, which has now gone up to 34.2%.
The landlocked country’s total cases shot up to 557,124, with active cases of 118,897. Its limited healthcare resources impede the country’s pandemic response, the billionaire felt.
World Bank data showed that Nepal only had 0.749 physicians per 1,00 people. Unfortunately, only 1,545 people are undergoing treatment in ICU, and 407 infected people are on ventilators. Even the inoculations were low in Nepal, as only 29 million residents were vaccinated.
Binod commented that the first wave ravaged the country, and the impact lasted for three months. However, he felt that the second wave is far worse than the first wave. “We were counting on India,” Binod said.
India is the manufacturing hub of vaccines and exported COVID-19 supplies earlier. However, India is under the weather with burgeoning COVID-19 cases. Due to this viral blowout, India has stopped exporting the vaccine.
“We’re looking for other sources of supply,” Binod said. He added that the non-profit arm of his company has donated USD 1 million to Nepal’s pandemic response. His company has mobilized its resources to bring in ventilators and oxygen cylinders. Various nations have already donated medical supplies to Nepal during this second wave.
An opposition member in the Parliament, Binod emphasized that the elections should be postponed until the country recovers from the pandemic, both on health and financial fronts.
With general elections due to be held in November, Nepali opposition parties are gearing up to challenge the dissolution of the parliament, which triggered this election. Chaudhary echoed this sentiment that most opposition parties are finding the timing unacceptable.
“While the house is on fire, we are still fighting (over) who’s going to sleep in the master bedroom.”