Nepal is currently in the middle of one of its biggest humanitarian crisis ever. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate families and communities every day. The country has among the highest positivity rates globally, recording an average of more than 8000 new infections and 200 covid-related deaths daily. By mid-July, new case numbers are projected to reach 800,000 people. Nepal's health system is already in a crisis, and is operating with severe shortages of hospital beds, oxygen, ventilators, and antiviral drugs. Worryingly, health experts are warning of a third wave. The World Health Organization has already put Nepal on its high priority list for tackling COVID-19.
With the country under complete or partial lockdown since the past month, Nepal's economic activities have come to literal standstill. This has had serious implications for Nepal's nature conservation sector. Already coping from the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic last year, we launched the "Adopt-an-Animal" campaign at the Central Zoo, Nepal's only national level zoo. The current crisis has further depleted our resources and restricted our ability to make necessary investments in local communities and create support systems that provide crucial lifeline to our nature conservation efforts.
About 80 percent Nepal's population live in rural areas. These rural communities have also been at the heart of Nepal's conservation success. However since they rely predominantly on subsistence economic activities, these communities are also among the most vulnerable and affected by the current health and economic crisis. Increasing community transmissions of COVID-19 are putting them into further risk.
At this hour of crisis, NTNC would like to appeal to you all to extend your generous helping hands. You have always stood by and supported our conservation initiatives and we urge you to come forward in any way you can to help us better deal with the impending health situation and its economic fallout. We will be grateful for any kind of support no matter how big or small. Thank you.
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