KATHMANDU, May 31: The government has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown until June 14.
A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Baluwatar on Saturday evening took the decision to continue the lockdown in view of the rising coronavirus cases, according to the spokesperson for the government, Yuba Raj Khatiwada.
The lockdown which was first enforced in the country on March 24 was coming to an end on June 2.
As of Saturday evening, the country has witnessed a total of 1,401 COVID-19 cases with seven fatalities.
The Cabinet meeting extended the suspension of domestic and international flights until June 27.
Nepal Army to be mobilized to manage returnees from abroad
Among other decisions, the cabinet also decided to mobilize Nepal Army to assist police personnel in order to manage the returnees from foreign countries.
Earlier this evening, a meeting of the National Security Council recommended to the government to mobilize the Nepal Army personnel to manage returnees from abroad. The government has already decided to bring the Nepalis abroad home on a priority basis.
A meeting of the High Level Government Committee for Prevention and Control of COVID-19 held on Friday decided to bring back Nepalis in the third countries based on ‘the priority of emergency’.
According to secretary at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Narayan Prasad Bidari, those who have been given general amnesty in the Gulf region and who are required to perform final rites of their relatives will be brought back to the country. Similarly, those who have been left jobless after the expiry of labor contract, those having health issues except COVID-19, and those women who are pregnant and are in a puerperium period will also be brought back home in the first phase.
Bidari also added that the government will also bring in senior citizens and physically challenged persons and the government employees who are there for training and studies. “They are required to submit their details to the Nepali embassies in the respective countries,” Bidari said, adding that they will be rescued by Nepal Airlines Corporation and other carriers of Neal once their details are received and processed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will verify the details and hand it over to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
The committee meeting also designated the different entry points along the Nepal-India border for the repatriation of Nepalis living in India. Those points include Pashupatinagar, Kakarbhitta, Raji, Sunauli, Thadi, Madar, Makangawa, Gaur, Birgunj and Maheshpur. Similarly, Nepalis in India can enter Nepal via Bekahiya, Taulihawa, Krishnanagar, Jamunaha, Gaurifanta, Gaddachauki and Jhulaghat check posts.