Report #4

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The charts above show the progression of COVID-19 in Nepal ever since the first case was detected in January of this year.

The chart on the left shows the growth in the total number of cumulative cases across the country. We note that while the total had started to stabilize around July, since August, the path is back to exponential growth. As of the day of writing 46257 cases have been identified across the country, of which 17027 cases are still active. Identified cases have been growing at a rate of 2.63% over the past week, a relative decrease of 0.01% compared to the week before.  

An exponential resurgence of cases is supported by the chart on the right, which shows the same data (cumulative cases) but in the Logarithmic (natural) scale. Essentially, the scale allows us to see what the “curve” in Nepal looks like. Since a 1-point increase in the log scale is equivalent to about 3000 new cases, the increase in the curve on right shows some cause for concern. 

High Growth Areas

The chart above compares the “curve” for Nepal with that of specific districts. Over the past week, we are seeing a spike in cases in: Parsa, Saptari, Siraha, Bajhang and Dhanusha; whereas Kalikot, Bhojpur and Rasuwa seem to have flattened the curve. Note that Solukhumbu, which was on our increasing cases list last week, has no cases this past week.

Digging a little deeper, the chart above – which shows the number of cases for specific municipalities since July – highlights areas where the growth in COVID-19 cases has spiked only recently (past week). Official records show that Budhanilkantha (Kathmandu district) has managed to control the growth of cases and is now out of our list, whereas Haripur (Sarlahi district), Siyari (Rupandehi district), Bharatpur (Chitwan district) continue to show a growth in case numbers. Ramdhuni (Sunsari district) is a new addition to the list of municipalities showing high growth over the past week.

Geographic Breakdown

Unlike other countries where there was steady growth in COVID-19 cases through local transmission, in Nepal the situation seems to have been quite different. The combination of a porous border with neighboring India, where a large proportion of the population live and work, and a phased out lockdown in both countries, Nepal saw a significant inflow of people in the bordering areas, where – as the map above shows – the number of identified COVID-19 cases have been the highest to date. Kathmandu is still the most affected district in Nepal, with far more cases than any other part of the country.

Demographic Breakdown

A demographic analysis of identified COVID-19 cases shows that most cases have been identified in a much younger portion of the population. This holds true regardless of gender and can be hypothesized to be the result of a correlation between the younger and migrant worker populations. In terms of gender breakdown, where data on gender is available, 81.4% of the identified cases so far have been Male while only 18.6% have been Female. Once again, this could be the result of migratory factors. We are now seeing the number of Female cases increase over the past few weeks.

Key Takeaways

COVID-19 is rising exponentially at national Level

  1. We are seeing an average rise of around 2.63% confirmed cases per day over the past week, a decline of 0.01% compared to the week before.
  2. Death rates are increasing by around 0.60% per day, on average, over the past week. Paterwa Sugauli (40), Budhanilkantha (33), and Belbari (20) municipalities, show the highest death rates so far.
  3. In Parsa, Saptari,Siraha, Bajhang and Dhanusha, the number of cases is increasing while in kalikot, Bhojpur and Rasuwa, the cases have stabilized over the past week.

The new municipal hotspots for the COVID-19 are Haripur, Siyari, Bharatpur, and Ramdhuni. From a district perspective, Kathmandu is still the most affected area in all of Nepal. 

If you have any feedback on the report or believe we can be of any help to your organization, please get in touch with us at info@copenepal.org

Acknowledgements

The authors of this report work as a part of the team that started the Cope initiative. Cope was formed in early May 2020 by a group of volunteers with experience in Data Analytics and Social Media Management. This report has been prepared voluntarily through Cope Nepal, for information purposes only and without any commercial interests.

For COVID-19 data, we rely on an API built by Nepal Coronavirus Information (website: https://nepalcorona.com/data/api). We have traced the API’s data source back to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), which provides daily updates on each individual case identified in the country along with – for our purposes – the age, gender, occupation, geographic location (point-coordinates) of the same. As NDRRMA’s data has been structured and made available in API form by Nepal Coronavirus Information, we use the API and, as a result, have no direct link to NDRMMA’s systems and processes.


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