Lockdown measures will not be lifted immediately, says PM Oli

Published On: April 11, 2020 06:43 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 11: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Saturday said that lockdown measures will not be lifted immediately.

Addressing chief ministers of all seven provinces through a video conference call, the prime minister made it clear that the lockdown measures will not be lifted unless the situation goes back to normal in India.

However, Oli did not disclose how long the extension would be for. "As India has witnessed rising coronavirus cases, we can't lift the lockdown here. There is no point in becoming emotional about lifting the lockdown. Instead, we have to adopt stricter measures to control the spread of COVID-19," Oli told the chief ministers during the 4-hour-long video conference call from the action room at the Prime Minister's Office, Singha Durbar.

The prime minister's video conference call was aimed at consulting with chief ministers on the future course as the current 14-day lockdown ends on Wednesday.

PM Oli said that the government will further enforce stricter measures along the Nepal-India border keeping in mind the growing COVID-19 cases across the southern neighbor.  "The lockdown is being enforced to protect the lives. I urge one and all to understand this compulsion," he said.

PM appealed the CMs to launch awareness campaign on COVID-19. Oli stressed the need to step up strong coordination  between the federal government and the provincial governments to contain the novel coronavirus in the days to come.

"We have no option but to maintain social distancing. The government has made all-out efforts to prevent and control the deadly virus in an efficient manner," he said.

PM Oli ruled out possibility of setting up a separate mechanism outside the government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. On the occassion, CMs briefed the prime minister about the ongoing efforts in their provinces to prevent and control the COVID-19. Currently, Nepal has nine COVID-19 cases. 

CMs of Province 1 Sher Dhan Rai, Province 2 Lal Babu Raut, Bagmat Province Dormani Poudel, Gandaki Province Prithvi Subba Gurung, Province 5 Shanker Pokharel, Karnali Province Mahendra Shahi and Sudurpaschim Province Trilochan Bhatta briefed the prime minister and authorities regarding their efforts to contain deadly virus. 

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