Republica Morning Brief: Oct 16

Published On: October 16, 2020 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

In case you missed them, here are some of the important stories Republica covered on Thursday.

Nepal added 3,749 new novel coronavirus infections on Thursday, taking the country’s total case count to 1, 21,745. Sharing the country’s national update on the COVID-19 situation at a virtual media briefing, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, Jageshwar Gautam said that 3,749 new cases of coronavirus were detected through 16,598 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted at various labs across the country in the past one day. The Kathmandu Valley alone witnessed 1,935 new coronavirus infections in the past one day, according to Spokesperson Gautam. Although the number of coronavirus cases is increasing sharply, the number of people recovering from the virus is also growing. 

The Kathmandu Valley witnessed 1,935 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the Valley’s COVID-19 case tally to 49,336. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), 1,693 people in Kathmandu, 134 in Bhaktapur and 108 in Lalitpur districts were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday. Of the 3,749 new cases detected across the country on Thursday, 1,935 were recorded in the Valley alone.

The three newly-appointed ministers took the oath of office and secrecy on Thursday. Amid a function held at Sheetal Niwas, the Presidential Palace, President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to Bishnu Poudel, the finance minister, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, the Urban Development minister and Lila Nath Shrestha, the minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday unveiled a list of 268 human rights violators. The chairman of the commission, Anupraj Sharma  unveiled the report including the list of the violators based on the progress report of the recommendation made by the NHRC in the past 20 years. Those names were included on the basis of evaluation of 1,195 recommendations made by the commission, said Bed Bhattarai, the spokesperson for the human rights body. The report incorporates 16 civil servants including a secretary, 98 Nepal Police personnel, 85 Nepal Army personnel and 65 leaders and cadres of the erstwhile Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. Similarly, four teachers, two medics, one human rights activist and seven others including informants, operators of service shelter and inmates are also included in the list. The most number of cases of rights violations are related to murder while the least number to refugee cases.

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued an interim order not to deprive COVID-19 infected candidates of the opportunity to sit for the examinations to be conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC). After the government decision to allow conducting examinations postponed earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSC had announced to conduct the postponed examinations for various governmental posts. However, the PSC announced to bar COVID-19 infected persons from appearing in the examination issuing a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the examinations. 

The prince of Bahrain and his expedition team successfully scaled Mt Manaslu (8,163 meter) on Thursday. According to the Department of Tourism (DoT), the liaison officer of the base camp informed the department about the successful ascent on Mt Manaslu. “Fourteen climbers from Bahrain and three mountain guides have successfully climbed the mountain at 7:10 am this morning,” an official at the department said on Thursday. The team including the prince of Bahrain, Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, had reached the base camp of Mt Manaslu on Tuesday. The expedition team has already ascended Mt Lobuche (6,119 meter) on October 3.

The government has made online ticket issuance of the passenger bus services mandatory for those operating in medium and long routes. Enforcing a new directive on online ticket purchase/sale for public transport service providers on Tuesday, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has asked all  medium and long distance passenger vehicles to go digital. The new rule seeks to make the ticket selling more transparent, competitive and safe in view of the fast spreading coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Public transport covering 100-250 km one way distance has been categorised as medium distance while those covering more than 250 km have been put under the long-distance type. The service providers have been asked to integrate their computer software with the DoTM’s Application Programming Interface (API).

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