KATHMANDU, June 2 (Xinhua) -- With the record high single day spike shown on Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal has crossed the 2,000 mark, a senior official of Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population said.
"Total number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 2,099 with 288 new cases on Tuesday," Bikas Devkota, spokesperson at the ministry said in a regulator press briefing on Tuesday. "Among newly infected people, 270 are men and 18 are women."
It is the second consecutive day that the Himalayan country witnessed the highest single day spike in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, 239 new cases were confirmed.
The Himalayan country has been witnessing rapid rise in the COVID-19 infections in recent days. Over 2,000 cases were reported in the last one month alone, according to the statistics of the Health Ministry.
Currently, more than 145,000 people, mostly coming from India, have been housed in different quarantines, according to the ministry.
The Nepali government plans to increase COVID-19 tests in the upcoming days and change the modality of the lockdown considering the massive impact on economic activities and jobs.
Nepal has been under lockdown since March 24.
"We have initiated the process to procure some modern automated machines that would help to multiply the tests," said Devkota.
Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli early last week announced that the government has planed to conduct tests among 2 percent of Nepal's population, meaning around 600,000 people. But it has been struggling to manage enough critical medical goods as the situation of COVID-19 is worsening.
According to the Ministry of the Health and Population, the country currently has just over 840 ventilators, over 50,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction test kits and over 10,000 Viral Transport Mediums. The ministry's joint spokesperson Sameer Kumar Adhikari told Xinhua early this week that these medical items would not be enough provided the country plunges into a deep COVID-19 crisis.
In the worst case scenario, Nepal expects over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 with a requirement of keeping over 500 patients at intensive care units and over 1,500 at the hospitals with oxygen support, according to the Health Sector Emergency Response Plan.