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Road traffic injuries in Nepal during COVID-19 lockdown

Authors
  • Sedain, Bhagabati1
  • Pant, Puspa Raj2, 3
  • 1 al
  • 2 Centre for Academic Child Health, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
  • 3 Nepal Injury Research Centre, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Type
Published Article
Journal
F1000Research
Publisher
"F1000 Research, Ltd."
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
Volume
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.26281.3
PMID: 33520194
PMCID: PMC7818237
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background : As the world is busy addressing COVID-19, road traffic injuries, another major cause of death is continuously killing people on the roads. In Nepal, there were frequent media reports of occurrences of road crashes, injuries, and deaths despite nationwide lockdown. This paper aims to describe the situation of road traffic crashes and casualties during the period of complete lockdown. Methods : This study used secondary data from two sources: Nepal Police and media reports between 24 March and 14 June 2020 (because the government lifted the nationwide lockdown from 15 June 2020). Available details of crashes, deaths, and injuries for this period were extracted from media reports and the summary data that was obtained from the Police.  We have included data from both sources in the results. Results : Nepal Police recorded 1,801 incidents of road crashes during the 82 days of the COVID-19 lockdown with 256 deaths (on average 3.1 deaths daily) and 1,824 injuries (on average 22.2 injuries daily). Motorcycles comprised over 21% of all vehicles involved in crashes. Ambulances and other vehicles for essential services were also found to be involved in crashes. Speeding itself was the cause for almost a quarter of the incidents during the lockdown. Conclusions : Although a reduction in the number of road crashes and related injuries and fatalities was observed, this reduction was not as substantial as anticipated during the heavy restrictions on vehicular movement imposed during the lockdown. Media reports were mainly found to be reporting the crashes where deaths occurred, but police records also included nonfatal injuries. The incidence of crashes in this period shows that it is important to work for road safety to save lives from road traffic crashes in Nepal.

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