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Nepal's COVID-19 tally rises to nearly 18,000 (AP)
Nepal's COVID-19 tally rises to nearly 18,000 (AP)

Nepal's COVID-19 tally rises to nearly 18,000

Nepal has recorded a total 17,994 COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths due to the coronavirus infection, the Kathmandu Valley has recorded 8 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours

KATHMANDU : Nepal registered 150 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to nearly 18,000, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The new infections were confirmed after testing 3,963 specimens through Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the last 24 hours, said Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for the ministry.

The Kathmandu Valley has recorded eight coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. Nepal has recorded 17,994 COVID-19 cases till Tuesday.

No COVID-19 fatality was reported during the last 48 hours. The country has reported 40 deaths due to the coronavirus infection.

Meanwhile, 609 people have been discharged from various health facilities across the country in the last 24 hours after recovering from the infection. So far, 12,477 COVID-19 patients have recovered, he said. Nepal's COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 69.34%.

At present, seven districts have no active cases of coronavirus infection. They are Bhojpur, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Rasuwa, Manang, and Mustang. Three districts - Rautahat, Kailali and Bajura - have over 500 active cases of infection.

Meanwhile, Nepal has decided to resume domestic and international flight operations starting from August 17, over four months after they were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 20, the government had banned all passengers, including Nepalis, from entering the country. Four days later, it imposed a nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, told The Kathmandu Post that a Cabinet meeting on Monday decided to allow both international and domestic flights to resume operations from August 17, as there "has been a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country".

"All flights will be operated by following special health and safety protocols," Tumbahangphe said.

The government says the decision to resume flights was taken as some countries have already started to lift the coronavirus restrictions, the report said.

With the border closed and internal travel prohibited for nearly four months now, the once-booming tourism sector in Nepal is on the verge of a collapse, and it is not likely to recover any time soon, say industry insiders.

Tourism is one of the major foreign currency earners for Nepal. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism's total contribution to the country's gross domestic product stood at 7.9% in 2018.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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