NEWS

Mid-May update with Okhaldhunga news

         Posted on May 18, 2020 under News

Dear friends of UMN,

Greetings from Nepal. We thank God for the privilege and facility we have to connect with you in this way and pray together at this critical time.

A week ago, the government began the process of easing the lockdown and other movement restrictions. It was a huge relief after nearly 50 days of obvious inconvenience. We were feeling good, service providers were ready for fresh action. However, it was short lived. We received news of new Covid-19 cases. Last Tuesday our active cases doubled in one day, with 83 new cases across six districts. The government not only extended the lockdown but took away travel and movement passes from people.

The Tarai (plains) districts, bordering India are showing more new cases. The large number of returning Nepali workers could have caused that situation. Three of UMN's clusters in the Tarai – Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi - fall under the sensitive regions.

Kathmandu Valley had been clear of active cases for a fortnight, but with new cases in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur city recently, the tally reaches 357 confirmed cases as of today, May 18. Bhaktapur has been put under total ban meaning people are not allowed to step out of their houses. Sadly, the first two coronavirus-related deaths in Nepal were reported this past weekend.

However, we are pleased to share some good news with you from other districts. UMN's Dhading Disaster Response Programme provided 18 medical assistance packages, including PPEs to Ruby Valley Rural Municipality (RM) in North Dhading. These resources were provided to the RM's health post, police station, ward office and municipality office.

Some of UMN's partners have started responding with local voluntary action. For example, our partner ISN in Nawalparasi had worked for years to form Church Disaster Management Committees in different wards of Hupsekot Rural Municipality. ISN is now mobilising those committees to work in coordination with local government to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in Hupsekot.

We continue to uplift our frontline responders, Okhaldhunga and Tansen hospitals in prayer and praise the Lord for their dedication, morale and values with which they serve the poor and the struggling people in their district. There is obvious anxiety and confusion in our brave staff. While patient numbers are picking up, attendance (and therefore income from patient fees) is fluctuating and still lower than usual, meaning that incoming revenue remains a source of concern for all of us.

We want to leave you with inspirational stories of staff and patients from one of our hospitals, which remind us again of the value of these hospitals and the much-needed service they provide in their district.


Please click HERE to read the 2020 issue of
'Friends of Okhaldhunga' and their COVID-19 update.


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