KATHMANDU, April 8: Indicating the extension of the lockdown until the third week of April, Prime Minister K P Oli has said that the next two weeks could be more challenging for the country in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Promising to concentrate all the efforts of the government on preventing the spread of the virus at the community level, the prime minister appealed to all the people to cooperate with the government's efforts in the struggle against the global pandemic.
"Coming two weeks could be more challenging for us. This period will not just see the surfacing of new symptoms of Covid-19 but also of the risks of its spreading in the community. We will concentrate all our efforts to prevent the spread of the virus to the community level," said Oli in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday.
Informing that the government has adopted a strategy of prevention, containment and treatment, Prime Minister Oli said that it is all prepared for containing the virus even if it spreads.
Stating that lockdown is the only effective method for preventing the virus spread given that the advent of a vaccine is still uncertain, Oli said a little negligence could invite grave consequences for the country.
According to the head of the government, 9,168 people have been staying in quarantine at present. The government has prepared quarantine centers at various places across the country, with a capacity of accommodating 30,566 individuals and isolation beds for 3,259 people.
Appealing to all those who returned recently from abroad to stay in quarantine and contact health professionals, Oli said that even minor negligence on their (recent-returnees') part could result in a huge loss to the community and the country.
"Thousands of Nepalis have returned home in recent days. Negligence by some of them to stay in quarantine has left us worried. I again urge them all to self-declare and contact local representatives or health workers. Your minor missteps could pose a serious threat to you, your family and the whole community," he said.
The prime minister also said that the government has arranged through diplomatic channels for quarantine facilities for all Nepali citizens stuck along the Nepal-India border.
He also informed that he has started talks with other heads of state/government to take stock of Nepali nationals who are now in various countries. MOFA is regularly coordinating matters in this regard, according to him.
“I'd like to express the solidarity of the Nepali people to the nations fighting hard against this global pandemic,” he said.
During his address, Oli extended his heartfelt condolences to all Nepalis who have lost their lives abroad due to this deadly disease and wished for the speedy recovery of all who have been infected.
He repeatedly requested the people to stay home and stay safe. According to PM Oli, the government is introducing a new tracing app soon to trace human contacts in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
He took time to share the commitment of the government to taking action if anyone is found indulging in irregularities at this hour of crisis.
Appreciating the role played by media, he urged them to disseminate positive news and information to encourage people to stay strong enough to cope with this disease. "Let's not spread false information or rumor," the prime minister said.
The government will provide double allowances to health workers and security personnel working on the front line to prevent and contain the novel coronavirus, he said.
Informing about various attempts the government has been making to control the spread, he insisted that the government took the right decision and on time to prevent the COVID-19 spread.