KATHMANDU, March 12: Major political parties have urged the government to adopt extra precautions against the risk of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
In an all-party meeting held at the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar on Wednesday, leaders of the major political parties in the parliament called for mandatory quarantine of people coming from coronavirus-affected countries.
Nepal has been allowing entry to people coming from coronavirus-affected countries once they submit health clearance certificate not older than a week.
“Nepal is allowing people from the virus-plagued countries to enter Nepal just based on their health clearance certificate. We have recommended mandatory quarantine for people coming from such countries via the air route,” said former health minister and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Gagan Thapa.
Leaders of other political parties in the meeting also suggested to the government to enhance the precautionary measures keeping in view the risk of virus outbreak in the region. They also complained about the absence of integrated information channel from the government and lack of uniformity in awareness drive from various government bodies.
Party leaders also urged the government for insurance of health workers, enhancing the isolation wards in hospitals for emergency use and identifying more isolation areas as precautionary measure. Some party members blamed that screening of people flocking to Nepal at border entry points was poor and inadequate. The meeting also discussed economic packages for coping with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The government briefed the political parties about its efforts so far for preventing the virus outbreak in the country and also shared its plans and strategies to combat any situation in the future,” said Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal after the meeting.
A high-level coordination committee on coronavirus prevention led by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel had summoned the meeting for taking feedbacks of the political parties.