COVID-19: Nepal facing devastating second wave as virus spreads from bordering India

Nepal is facing a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections as the virus spreads across the border from COVID-ravaged India.

On Sunday, Nepalese officials announced the country had reported its highest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began with 7137.

The previous record was 5743 cases in October 2020, the Kathmandu Post reported.

"We have detected the UK variant and the double mutant variant detected in India," Krishna Prasad Paudel, the director of Nepal's Epidemiology and Disease Control Department Paudel told Reuters.

Public health expert Rabindra Pandey said the virus is mutating "very fast".

"What started in India has now entered Nepal," she said.

The surge in new cases is believed to have come from India, which borders southern Nepal, with the working population bringing it to the country.

As a result, the Nepalese Government closed 22 out of 35 border entry points with India, according to The Hindu.

The Guardian reported some Nepal districts are already experiencing a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.

In the Banke district doctors at Bheri hospital said it was turning into a "mini India", as the virus spread out of control.

"The situation is out of control. We are in a helpless situation," said the hospital's chief consultant physician Rajan Pandey. "We lack nursing manpower in the hospital."

Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population issued a stark statement warning of the surging cases.

"The cases are increasing so fast that the country's healthcare system cannot cope. We request everyone to be sensible," a Government-issued statement read.

According to Worldometer, Nepal has so far reported 343,418 COVID-19 cases and at least 3000 deaths.