While the Provincial government and opposition parties are engaging in the mathematics of political maneuvers, Lumbini province is grappling with high Covid-19 positivity rate as it hosts the second-highest number of infections, falling just one step behind Bagmati which is the worst Covid-hit province in the country.

Lumbini has the second highest number of people in home isolation, 11,418 to be precise, of which 772 infected are in institutional isolation.

Meanwhile, 77 patients are receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while 21 patients are being treated in ventilators.

The data provided by Lumbini Province Health Directorate shows that as of May 2, four districts in the province -- Dang, Banke, Bardiya and Rupandehi -- have more than 500 active cases while Palpa, Bardiya, Kapilvastu and Arghakachi districts host over 200 live infections.

There are 491 active cases in Kapilvastu, 1,538 in Dang, 434 in Palpa, 4,072 in Banke, 103 in Gulmi, 151 in Arghakhachi, 3,603 in Rupandehi, 20 in Pyuthan, 526 in Bardiya, 283 in Nawalparasi, 70 in Rolpa and four in Rukum East -- resulting in a total of 11,563 active infections.

The Province with four special isolation hospitals, 11 other hospitals with isolation facilities, 32 isolation centres, has reported 597 Covid-19 fatalities till date with the highest number of the same recorded in Rupandehi with 204 deaths, followed by Banke with 99 deaths and Dang with 81 deaths.

29,372 people have recovered from the highly contagious disease while three Covid-19 infected persons have died by suicide in the province.

Following the sharp spike in the daily reported cases as the new wave struck the country, Banke, Dang, Palpa, Rupandehi, Bardiya, Pyuthan, Kapilvastu, Arghakhachi, and Gulmi have enforced complete or partial prohibitory order.

While the new and more virulent variant is sweeping the province at an alarming rate, the Provincial government and the parties in opposition are engrossed with game of thrones, their political moves and counter moves seemingly laughing back at the helplessness of the people, mirroring the federal state of affairs.

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Even as people are suffering in lack of hospital beds, oxygen supplies and other basic amenities, the parties here have their undivided attention dedicated to securing a government under their leadership in the provincial assembly.

The hospitals and health workers in even relatively better equipped cities like Butwal and Nepalgunj are overwhelmed with the huge influx of Covid-19 patients and corresponding shortages while authorities have brushed off their responsibilities by means of prohibitory orders.

The province has vaccinated 60,670 people with both doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Compiled by Sandeep Sen.