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Nepal overwhelmed by Covid: “The virus has arrived at Everest base camp”

Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, bordered by China and India, is disarmed and overwhelmed by a second wave of Covid-19, extremely virulent. In the wake of its Indian neighbor, which now records the highest number of deaths after the United States and Brazil (more than 330,000 deaths), the Federal Himalayan Republic has in turn been struck by the variant B.1.617, which seems very contagious and worries the whole planet. Nathalie Jauffret, president of the NGO Assistance Médicale Toit du Monde (AMTM), which has been working in Nepal in the medical, humanitarian and sponsorship fields for nearly thirty years, takes stock of the health situation. Interview.

With more than 560,000 cases and 7,300 deaths, for barely 30 million inhabitants – figures which are no doubt largely underestimated – is Nepal the collateral and forgotten victim of the Indian crisis?

Collateral victim, certainly. As soon as the health situation in India deteriorated dramatically, at the end of April, Nepal implemented very strict containment, closed its 1,850-kilometer border with its neighbor, a real colander, and removed its air links. But it was already too late. The number of daily cases has skyrocketed. It went from less than 200 to over 9,000 by mid-May. Nepal, which had been relatively spared by the first wave, has absolutely no means to face such an epidemic. Even less than India. The medical system is

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