COVID-19 spirals out of control in Nepal: ‘Every emergency room is full now’
Surging caseloads, spiking mortality rates, and supply shortages threaten one of India’s neighboring nations.
Just before midnight on Sunday, Anup Bastola—chief consultant for Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population, lead doctor at Sukraraj Hospital in Kathmandu, and the man who identified Nepal’s first-ever COVID-19 patient a year ago—felt, for the first time in his career, completely helpless.
Sukraraj transformed Sunday from an overloaded hospital into a nightmare of triage. Bastola arrived home from duty only to learn that six more patients were failing—six more for whom he could not find ventilators or ICU beds.
“These patients, they are fighting for their lives,” said Bastola over the phone. One of them was trying to breathe 56 times per minute, like a marathoner approaching the finish. “They will fight for