Republica Morning Brief: Oct 13

Published On: October 13, 2020 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

In case you missed them, here are some of the major developments that took place in the past 24 hours.

The latest move of a section of lawmakers to register a vote of no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister in the Karnali Provincial Assembly on Sunday is likely to further ignite the intra-party conflict within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The move of 18 NCP lawmakers close to Prime Minister K P Oli and the party’s senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal against Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, who is close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, comes at a time when Oli and Dahal are making necessary homework in Kathmandu to accomplish the remaining tasks of the party unity. The lawmakers led by Yam Lal Kandel registered a vote of no-confidence motion against Shahi on Sunday. They have alleged that Chief Minister Shahi had failed to deliver effectively both in the government and the party. A day after the no-confidence motion was registered, Chief Minister (CM) of Karnali Province, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, who is also the parliamentary party leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in the provincial assembly, removed Gulab Jung Shah from the post of the chief whip of the party, on Monday. In a letter to Shah, CM Shahi has accused him of failing to demonstrate satisfactory performance.

The government has decided to convert all the government hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley into COVID-19 hospitals. According to Dr Jageshwar Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), the government has made this decision in view of lack of isolation centers in the Valley for COVID-19 patients amid the growing rate of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The health ministry has also directed all the hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley to conduct surgery only in the case of emergency. “This will help in managing more isolation and ICU beds for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr Gautam.

The Ministry of Health and Population on Monday confirmed 4,047 more cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). With the new cases of COVID-19 detected through 14,530 real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests conducted at labs across the country in the past one day, the total caseload has jumped to 111,802, according to the ministry’s Spokesperson Dr Jageshwar Gautam. The recovery tally in the country has reached 77, 277 while the number of persons dying of this viral disease stands at 645 including 1,473 recoveries and nine deaths in the last 24 hours. 

The COVID-19 hospitals in Kathmandu have an accumulated capacity of treating a total of 195 patients in the intensive care units and 88 on ventilators. According to the data updated by the Health Management Information System (HMIS), there are a total of 120 ICU beds and 59 ventilators at the government hospitals while the private hospitals have 75 ICU beds and 29 ventilators. Nearly 54 percent of ICU beds – 105 – have so far been occupied by the COVID-19 patients as of 2 PM on Monday including 78 at government and 27 at private hospitals. Forty one (20 at government hospitals and 21 at private hospitals) of the 88 ventilators have been put to use so far, according to HMIS.

With 2,283 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, the Kathmandu Valley’s COVID-19 tally has reached 43,869. Of the 4,047 new cases recorded across the country, 2,283 were detected in the Valley alone. This figure accounts for 56.41 percent of the total cases. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), 1,888 new cases in Kathmandu, 118 in Bhaktapur and 277 in Lalitpur districts were recorded on Monday. Likewise, in the past 24 hours, four more people succumbed to COVID-19 in the Valley. So far, 201 people have died of COVID-19 in the Valley.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has unveiled the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for conducting the exams for civil service employees that, among others, will restrict those infected with the coronavirus from appearing in the exams. The restriction will bar thousands of people diagnosed with COVID-19 from competing for government jobs which are considered lucrative in Nepal. According to the SOPs released by the PSC recently, those taking the examinations of the public service must make self-declaration whether they are infected with the virus or not. Infected examinees shall not enter the examination center, read the SOPs.

Nepal recorded additional 153,162 individuals in the unemployment list in the past one week. Job losses have impacted people from all walks of life across the country. According to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, the additional number of unemployed people was recorded on the basis of the applications registered by the Ministry from October 1 to 8. The number includes those who lost their job both at home and those returning home after losing jobs abroad. As per the government records, the pandemic has left 416,491 individuals jobless in Nepal as of September end. With the new number, the total number of job losses has reached 569,653.


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