Amid fears of a third wave of the pandemic, Nepal has registered the highest single-day Covid-19 cases since June, which experts have attributed to the relaxation in restrictive measures.
The Ministry of Health and Population reported 3,007 new cases on Thursday, which increased the overall infection tally to 708,079, reports Xinhua news agency.
The South Asian country last reported more than 3,000 cases on June 22, when the daily figure stood at 3,703.
At least 37 people also succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 9,994, the Ministry added.
“The recent resurgence in Covid-19 cases could well be the continuation of the second wave,” Krishna Prasad Paudel, spokesman at the Ministry of Health and Population, told Xinhua.
He blamed the relaxation in restrictive measures in the Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country in recent weeks as the likely cause for the uptick.
As the number of infections began to dip in early June, the restrictive measures enforced since late April were eased in parallel with the lockdown being extended time and again.
Nepal logged a record high of 9,317 cases on May 11 when the country was hit hard by the second wave and the health system was strained to its limit.
A lack of medical oxygen and hospital beds forced many hospitals to turn away patients in May and the death toll more than doubled than during the first wave of the pandemic.
In recent days, hospitals in Kathmandu are seeing more inflow of new Covid-19 patients, and the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital on Thursday responded by adding 18 general beds and 10 intensive care unit beds.
“Now, 36 of 40 ICU beds are occupied while around 100 beds of 133 general beds have been occupied,” Shanta Kumar Das, coordinator of the Covid-19 Management Committee under the teaching hospital, told Xinhua.
Das believes that the cases are increasing because of the growing movement of people after the restrictive measures were eased.