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Road traffic injuries in Nepal during COVID-19 lockdown

Sedain, Bhagabati; Pant, Puspa Raj


Bhagabati Sedain

Puspa Pant
Research Fellow (SAFETRIP Nepal)


Background: As the world is busy addressing COVID-19, road traffic injuries, another major cause of deaths 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. Narrative comparison is done between the data for the same period from both the sources, where possible. 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: Even when the movement restrictions were imposed in Nepal, the number of road crashes was not substantially reduced. 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.


Sedain, B., & Pant, P. R. (2020). Road traffic injuries in Nepal during COVID-19 lockdown. F1000Research, 9, Article 1209.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 8, 2020
Publication Date Oct 8, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2020
Journal F1000Research
Electronic ISSN 2046-1402
Publisher F1000Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 1209
Public URL
Additional Information Referee status: Approved with reservations; Referee Report: 10.5256/f1000research.29008.r72710, Kulanthayan KC Mani, Safe Kids Malaysia, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, Malaysia, 29 Oct 2020, version 1, 1 approved with reservations; Grant Information: The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work; Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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