‘Health ministry not in favor of enforcing lockdown immediately’

Published On: January 19, 2022 10:33 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 19: The Ministry of Health and Population has clarified that it is not in favor of immediately enforcing a lockdown in the country. 

In a meeting of the House of Representatives (HOR)’s Education and Health Committee held on Tuesday, Health Secretary Dr Roshan Pokharel said the ministry is against the lockdown. He further said the ministry is sensitive not to put the battling economy in trouble due to lockdown. “If it is deemed necessary to enforce a shutdown in any sector we will make the needful decision and resume the sectors after two-three weeks”. 

Secretary Pokharel said vaccination management has witnessed some complications due to closure of schools when an inoculation drive targeting below 18-year children was underway. He informed that the vaccines meant for the Terai region could not be administered there some days ago due to cold wave and foggy weather so they were brought back to Bhaktapur and administered accordingly. 

On the occasion, Minister of State for Health and Population Bhawani Prasad Khapung said challenges surfaced in speeding up the task due to inadequate coordination between the province and local units. The data accuracy has also been found to be a problem in some areas, he added. 

Committee member Man Bahadur Biswokarma urged the government to expedite the campaign of inoculating vaccines to the citizens against the Omicron variant of coronavirus. 

Likewise, another committee member Yogesh Bhattarai said vaccination service has not been provided to more than 150,000 a day though it was announced to inoculate 500,000 people every day. 

Committee member Hit Bahadur Tamang accused the government of not being serious in expanding the vaccination centers and human resources to adequately respond to the spread of the virus. 

Another member Khagaraj Adhikari said the students pursuing MBBS can also be mobilized in treating the people after imparting necessary training. 

Committee member Jeewan Ram Shrestha said the infection has spread in communities when the citizens returning home via borders are being permitted to enter villages without screening. 

Another committee member Bidya Bhattarai asked the government to arrange inoculation services to the people with disability and the physically challenged at their doorstep. 

Likewise, Chitralekha Yadav called on the government to initiate ‘Omicron weekly awareness campaign’ focusing on the rural population against the virus.


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