Even though Nepal has been able to limit the Covid-19 cases to nine, Nepal remains prone to further spread and risks. While Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli apologized for the difficulties faced by the public as Nepal has been under lockdown for two weeks, he stated that it has been of great help to limit the coronavirus cases in Nepal. Citing social distancing as the main weapon to fight against the virus, he further emphasized the need to take effective measures, due to which the lockdown has been extended for eight days from today.
Here are some of the key points of the PM’s address:
- Nepal has entered into the second phase of the pandemic with the detection of a local case of Covid-19. As the situation requires further attention, the Nepal government has adopted various mechanisms to combat the coronavirus. Coronavirus/Covid-19 High-Level Prevention and Control Committee has been leading all work related to the prevention and control of the virus. Under this, Coronavirus Crisis Management Center (CCMC) has been established which will operate as a unified command with participation from the public, politicians, bureaucrats, security forces, and health workers.
- There 30,566 quarantine centres and 3,259 isolation beds across the country. Currently, there are 9,186 people in quarantine and 95 people being treated in isolation.
- The government has adopted the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to test for Covid-19 in all seven provinces. Until yesterday (06 March 2020), 1,890 people had been tested. In the coming days, the government looks forward to testing on a massive scale from the 10 testing centres in the country, and through the Rapid Detection Test (RDT) in the high-risk zones. Till date, 148 full-set Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs); 11,819 gowns; 4,345 N-95 masks and 565,261 masks have been made available in all seven provinces, whereas the government is working to make ventilators and other necessary equipment available as well.
- As thousands of Nepali has come from abroad, the Prime Minister urged all of them to follow the quarantine rules. He further asked them to self-announce themselves and get in contact with public representatives and health workers in their respective constituencies. The Prime Minister also mentioned that there is no other choice than to close down the international borders to contain the virus. 2,157 Nepali have been put in quarantine in the India-side of the border, whereas 700 Indians have been put in quarantine in the Nepal-side of the border; these are people who have been stranded in the Indo-Nepal border due to the lockdown. After fulfilling the quarantine and related criteria, they will be brought to Nepal.
- The coming two weeks are going to be very challenging for Nepal as this is not only a period where the coronavirus symptoms will show but also a period where there is a high risk for the spread of the virus. Thus, all attempts will be put to stop the spread of the pandemic in the country. Similarly, the government will bring into use a new tracing app, which will help navigate the spread and the situation of the coronavirus.