The death toll from coronavirus in Nepal crossed the 1,000 milestone on Tuesday with the government reporting 20 additional deaths in the past 24 hours caused by the rampaging pandemic that has infected 179,614 people in the tiny Himalayan nation.

The Health Ministry's daily COVID-19 update said 3,114 new cases of infection were confirmed in the same period and the total death toll now stands at 1,004.

Shoppers in white circle obey 1.5-meter social distancing, while queuing to buy food during lockdown in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 17, 2020. (NurPhoto/Getty/Kyodo)

Public health experts warn the actual number of infections could be much higher because testing remains limited. So far, the government has been able to conduct polymerase chain reaction tests on only 1,480,978 people in the nation of 30 million people. Contact-tracing has come to a near-complete halt.

Kathmandu, the nation's capital, is the most affected by the pandemic with hospitals here overburdened with patients.

Nepal confirmed its first coronavirus case in January and the first fatality caused by the virus in May.

While testing and treatment for coronavirus patients was free in the past, the government recently said it cannot continue to do the same for lack of resources.

Related coverage:

India's coronavirus cases surpass 8 million mark

Pakistan sees "unmistakable signs" of rise in coronavirus