ITAHARI, March 21: The Province 1 government has decided to set up a 50-bed hospital along with 10-bed ventilator facility in partnership with Nepal Army and Armed Police Force and Nepal Police. The hospital will be established in the building of erstwhile National Trading Limited within a week. The facility is being established to address potential outburst of COVID-19.
The provincial government has also decided to close all border crossings with India by urging the federal government for the same. Two northern border crossings with China—Kimanthanka and Olangchunggola were closed for cross border movements of locals since 19 January by China. The government said it upheld its already circulated decision to end bigger gatherings all over the state. The state government decided to do so in its Chief Minister (CM) Sherdhan Rai- led cabinet meeting on Friday afternoon at the state capital Biratnagar.
The provincial cabinet meeting also decided to upgrade medical laboratories of Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and Biratnagar-based Koshi Zonal Hospital.
Meanwhile, the emergency state cabinet meeting has endorsed 12 separate decisions. The decisions include implementing all decisions made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwor Pokhrel to take precaution on COVID-19, directing all line agencies under the provincial government to manage running water and soap for all governmental and non-governmental institutions including hospitals and departmental stores.
Other decisions include to cease all services like registration, renew and license given by Transport Management Offices and Transport Service Offices under the state government until Chaitra last (12 April), to carry out a homework for establishing a medical laboratory in the province.
The province government also decided to form a 25-member monitoring committee comprising all stakeholders chaired by CM Rai. Surrounded by COVID- 19 -hit India in the southern and eastern border and by China in the northern border, Province 1, so far, has not a single recorded case of COVID-19.
However, the state government has expedited all possible precautionary measures to prepare for potential outbreak of the WHO-declared global pandemic in the days ahead.
On Thursday, the state government in association with Nepal Army's Eastern Divisional Headquarters Itahari constructed 440-bed quarantine space in three districts of Jhapa, Morang and Udayapur.