KATHMANDU, April 30: The main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), President Sher Bahadur Deuba has claimed that the decision of the government to enforce prohibitory order in Kathmandu for two weeks has increased the threat of further spreading the COVID-19 infection in districts that still have fewer cases of this viral disease.
Organizing a press conference at his residence in Budhanilkantha on Friday afternoon, President Deuba said that tens of thousands of people have reached their home districts from Kathmandu Valley without undergoing any COVID-19 tests following the decision of the government to enforce the prohibitory order. “This decision of the government has increased the threat of spreading COVID-19 infection at a massive rate even in the places with fewer cases of infection,” he argued.
Local authorities in Kathmandu Valley announced to enforce a two-week-long prohibitory order starting Thursday. Since the decision was made on Monday in order to give time to allow those wanting to go home, hundreds of thousands of people living here in Kathmandu for work and study decided to go back to their own hometowns in various parts of the country.
While criticizing the government for its failure to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Deuba said that the country has already started facing an acute shortage of ICUs, ventilators, and oxygen cylinders as the cases of COVID-19 infection have gone up sharply in recent days. “This government neither learns from its own mistakes in the past nor assimilates suggestions and advice given by Nepali Congress and other stakeholders concerned,” Deuba vented ire while blaming the government’s carelessness, insensitiveness, and irresponsible manner of working for the current situation.
Deuba also criticized Prime Minister Oli for unnecessarily organizing functions to inaugurate the works that were started long ago just to spread the impression among people that they were achieved by the sole efforts of the Oli-led government. While stating that the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to get further worse in the days ahead, Deuba further asked the government to ensure the availability of an adequate number of oxygen cylinders and ventilators, COVID-19 hospitals, ICU beds, necessary medicines, and other health logistics to help people get treatment on time without any hassles.
In his 11-point suggestions to the government, Deuba has asked the government to expand the scope of contact tracing, regulate the cross-border movement of people by keeping those entering Nepal in holding centers at least until their PCR report is available. Among other things, Deuba has urged the government to provide risk allowances to health workers, sanitation workers, and security personnel, introduce relief packages to poor people and initiate diplomatic negotiations to procure COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.