Centre Closes For Second Lockdown
On 29th April, just three weeks into our new project ‘Forward Steps’, the Support Centre sadly had to close again for another lockdown – just when it felt as though we were finally back on track. The students are very disappointed as they had settled in nicely and were enjoying their tailoring course. However, we all appreciate how extremely serious the Covid situation is here at the moment and that there’s little we can do other than stay home, ride out this second wave and encourage everyone to register for their vaccination – whenever that may be.
The pandemic is currently hitting hard in Nepal. There’s a severe shortage of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders in the country, with Covid cases averaging around 9,000 per day. Every 24 hours we’re seeing about 200 deaths and with the new Indian variant, the virus is spreading much faster than last year. Despite a strict lockdown being in force over the past two weeks, numbers are still rising. Nobody is allowed to travel in or out of the valley, public and private transport has been banned and people may only leave their homes briefly between 7am to 9am for food.
Nobody knows how long the lockdown will last but medical services are overwhelmed and there isn’t a Plan B. Those who rely on daily wages to feed their families are suffering enormously and some are walking huge distances home to their villages, unable to afford to stay in the city. Those sharing living quarters, toilets and water taps are more vulnerable to the virus but also less able to pay for treatment. It’s a sad fact that lockdown is much harder for some than others and at WONDERWorks we are especially concerned about women working in the entertainment sector, many of whom are single mothers, with no other means of income.