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Nepal Declares Week-Long Lockdown To Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

By Phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU: The government of Nepal has announced a nationwide lockdown from Tuesday, March 23, 2020, to fight the global spread of coronavirus or the COVID-19, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
A meeting of the 19th Infection Prevention and Control High-Level Coordination Committee, summoned primarily to discuss the coronavirus crisis took a decision to this effect on Tuesday, according to a statement.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Ishwar Pokhrel chaired the meeting, which also discussed the possibility of extending the lockdown, if necessary.
Government Spokesman and Minister of Finance and Communications Dr.Yubaraj Khatiwada made public the decisions, stressing that the lockdown order was issued in accordance with Section 2(2) of the Infectious Disease Control Act, 2020.
The government decisions to be followed by Nepalese citizens and all residing in Nepal for controlling the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19, have been given here below:

No one should leave the house except in essential tasks such as medical treatment or purchasing food items.

Operation of all types of public or private passenger vehicles will be prohibited except those used by the authorized personnel, health workers and security agencies.

All domestic and commercial flights, except those of the security agency, will be closed.

Non-essential employees will have to be present immediately as and when required, while for the essential employees, they should continue providing services in health, food, electricity, telecom and other essential sectors.

Private sector operated businesses and industries, except pharmaceuticals, health equipment, food and fuel producing industries, will have to arrange leave for their employees.

Arrangements will be made for the regular supply of medicines and services of the health professionals. Artificial shortage and black marketing of essential goods will not be tolerated and will be taken an action as per the law. Confiscated stuffs will be used in the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus disease, according to Clause 8(1) of the Infectious Disease Control Act.

Chief District Officers will be responsible for making necessary arrangements for the implementation of this order and may also use the Local Administration Act, as per the requirement.

Any person who disobeys an order issued under the Infectious Disease Control Act, or who obstructs the work of authorities will be punished in accordance with the Act.

The meeting also came up with the quarantine management criteria for controlling the COVID-19, while also revealing inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms and declaring various hospitals of Nepal as the treatment centers.

Published Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 | 01:41 PM

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