KATHMANDU, Aug 10: The COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) has decided to recommend to the government not to immediately resume aviation services and long-distance public transport as announced earlier. The government on July 21 had decided to resume these services from August 17.
A meeting of the CCMC held on Sunday made a decision to ask the government to postpone its earlier decision for 15 days as the cases of COVID-19 have lately seen a sharp increase in various parts of the country including the Kathmandu Valley. A formal decision to this effect will be made through a cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday, according to a CCMC source.
The government had partially lifted the lockdown 120 days after it was first enforced on March 24 to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government had then announced its plans to resume long-distance public transportation services, domestic and international flights, training sessions and preliminary stages of international games, student admission, academic and other examinations from August 17.
The CCMC meeting on Sunday also decided to ask banks and financial institutions to make necessary arrangements to call only 50 percent of their employees at work and rotate their work schedule for seven or 15 days.
Similarly, the CCMC meeting has also decided to ask the government to further tighten cross-border movement of people in view of the possible spread of COVID-19. The designated entry points for people entering Nepal from India will also be reduced to 10 from the existing 20.
The CCMC also decided to make necessary arrangements to develop additional isolation and quarantine centers in coordination with the local governments as COVID-19 cases have seen a sharp rise lately. The meeting has decided to urge the general public not to come out of their homes except when there is absolutely essential work.
The Ministry of Health and Population had earlier predicted that the cases of COVID-19 would reach the highest point on August 9 and this situation will persist till August 18. Although the number of COVID-19 cases is fewer than anticipated, the latest spike in the cases of COVID-19 has forced the government to review its own decisions.
With 380 new cases reported on Sunday, Nepal’s COVID-19 tally reached 22,900. A total of 75 individuals have succumbed to this disease so far. Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Kathmandu Valley, the government on Wednesday decided to enforce the odd-even rule for both public and private vehicles except those belonging to essential services starting Thursday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to restrict the movement of people between 9 pm and 5 am in the three districts of the Kathmandu Valley in order to contain the possible spread of COVID-19. All passenger vehicles are also banned from entering the Kathmandu Valley from 7 pm to 7 am.