KATHMANDU: At least 1,647 people have committed suicide during the lockdown period in Nepal which was imposed first imposed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, police said.
A total of 1,647 cases were filed as of June 27 in police stations all over Nepal, with an average of 18 people killing themselves every day since the enforcement of the lockdown, Xinhua news agency quoted the Nepal Police as saying on Monday.
The number of suicide cases has jumped by a whopping 25 per cent as compared to the record maintained before lockdown.
A total of 414 people had committed suicide one month before the lockdown but now the number has reached an average of 549 suicides a month.
Jagannath Lamichhane, a global mental health rights activist, attributed the suicides to the falling economy during the pandemic.
"The uncertainty of economy has caused fear amongst the people," he said
He warned that if the government fails to support the public economically, more people will commit suicide.
"Daily wage workers were immediately hit as they have been displaced from city areas, now middle class or working class, small and medium sized entrepreneurs will feel the insecurity in the days to come," Lamichhane told Xinhua on Monday.
According to Lamichhane, the government needs to come up with an education campaign and for the long run it needs to introduce economic packages for people economically affected by the pandemic in Nepal.
The Himalayan country has so far reported 15,964 COVID-19 cases, with 35 deaths.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)