Foreign search-and-rescue teams have begun to withdraw from Nepal as the authorities shift their focus to relief efforts in the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake.

Following a Nepali government request on Saturday, teams from Turkey and France have begun withdrawing, according to an update from the Nepali army.

The Indian Express daily reported that India's almost-1,000-strong rescue team plans to leave Nepal by the end of the week.

At least 7,611 people have been killed by the 7.8-magnitude quake and another 14,500 have been injured, according to Nepali police.

The withdrawal signifies a stronger shift towards providing relief and preparing displaced Nepalis for the upcoming monsoon season.

"Rescue operations are over; now we're engaged in relief operations at the moment so it will continue for some time to come," said Nepali foreign ministry spokesman Tara Prasad Pokharel, confirming that the government has requested foreign rescue teams to prepare to depart Nepal.

He also said the government has asked for foreign states and NGOs to focus on providing aid to be distributed in affected areas.

The government has also denied that Nepal is trying to control aid supplies and funding after criticism that it had not removed red tape on incoming goods.

"That's not true. There are more than 50 countries trying to bring their relief items with flights to Kathmandu. So, you cannot land your flight at the time you wish, you choose; that's not possible because ours is a very small airport," Pokharel said, adding that there was only a "short and simple procedure" for incoming flights to follow.

"There is no desire to control the flights, we need relief materials. We are very grateful to all the countries which are sending materials to Kathmandu. We welcome that," he added.

- Monsoon season approaching

Nepal's home ministry estimates that some 200,000 dwellings have been destroyed, mainly in remote rural areas where displaced people could become vulnerable to heavy rains and landslides in the coming months.

The UN reported on Monday that there is still a lack of air transport for reaching areas inaccessible by road. It also highlighted that aid has continued to be focused around a select few areas while many mountainous regions have not been reached.

Only Indian and Nepali helicopters had been operating during rescue efforts until Sunday when U.S. Marines sent four Osprey helicopters, which are considered to be well-suited to disaster relief.

Over the weekend, Nepal's government called for $2 billion worth of donations to be delivered to its domestic relief fund.

- Casualty numbers expected to rise: minister

Nepal's finance minister, Ram Sharan Mahat, said Sunday that the death toll could jump once relief efforts reached some of the most remote regions.

"There are still villages where we know that all houses have been destroyed, but have not yet been able to reach. The aftershocks have not receded and we expect the final casualty numbers to climb much higher," said Mahat.

"The monsoons are coming in less than two months; pre-monsoon rains are already here and it will be another disaster if we cannot provide tents and requisite supplies over the next week or so," he added, asking for international contributions to Nepal's disaster fund.

Much of the aid delivery thus far has been carried out by local volunteers who have raised funds through individual donations and several online crowdfunding campaigns which have collectively raised more than $500,000.  

Nepalis in less-affected parts of the country and the large expatriate worker community have also contributed significantly.

Tej Prasad Paudel, chief district officer of the southeastern Jhapa area, which borders India, said they have set up a collection center for relief materials.

"So far, we have collected relief materials and food including dry foods -- beaten rice, noodles, biscuits -- worth 15 million rupees ($150,000). We have dispatched tents, blankets, rice and pulse to some of the disaster sites," said Paudel. "Local people have donated 1.5 million rupees ($15,000) in cash. This fund will go into the Prime Minister's Relief Fund."

"We have also received donations from India and we have deployed our officers at the border check points. For those who can transport the relief materials, we check the consignments and let them in. For those who don't have the resources, we will deliver in the districts of their choice," he said.

Nepalis among the almost 500,000 expat community working in Malaysia also created their own humanitarian mission to help friends and families because of their concern about whether mainstream collections will reach the right people.

The group's spokesperson, Indra Limbu, told The Anadolu Agency that a small group of workers would personally travel to aid to take aid to affected areas.

"We have been cheated before. So, this time, we have decided to have our own initiative. We are already gathering the contributions both in terms of cash and materials," he said.

"We will go back to our country to survey the situation because we want to help our own people and families who are in a very difficult situation right now."

Qatari newspaper The Peninsula also reported that there had been a surge in remittances sent from the 400,000-strong Nepali workforce in the small Gulf state.

The newspaper reported that there had been thousands more transactions made in April than usual, with the majority coming, uncharacteristically, at the end of the month.

As many workers had not yet been paid, a number of the transactions were as small as $20 as expats sought to provide their families with whatever support they could afford.

Anadolu Agency