Republica Morning Brief: Oct 19

Published On: October 19, 2020 05:48 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The government has decided not to bear the cost of treatment and PCR testing of COVID-19 patients effective from Sunday. A cabinet meeting held recently decided to bear only the cost of treatment and PCR testing of frontline workers including differently-abled, single women, senior citizens, security personnel, and sanitization workers. They will also be tested only after showing COVID-19 symptoms. With this decision, ordinary citizens other than the frontline workers and other designated groups have to bear the cost of COVID-19 treatment and PCR tests on their own.

The government has now asked the people to manage the funeral rites of their family members who die of COVID-19 in home isolation. Amending the ‘Dead Body Management of COVID-19 Cases Guideline’ the government has expressed its inability to manage the funerals of the people dying of COVID-19 in home isolation. At a time when the hospitals are almost full with patients of the coronavirus and the ambulance and hearse operators are refusing to carry COVID-19 cases, the government’s new decision is likely to create additional troubles for the people. As per the new rule, the family members need to inform the local administration and the police if the infected individuals die at home. The funeral rites have to be carried out by maintaining physical distance while people aged above 60 years and children are barred from participating in the rituals.

A Nepal Police officer on duty has been found murdered near the Nepal-India border in Kailali district on Sunday morning. The dead body of Assistant Sub-inspector Govinda BK has been found in the Mohana River at Dhangadhi Sub-metropolitan City-12. Ram Bahadur Sawad, the police constable on duty, is also missing. Both of them had left the temporary police station in Dhangadhi-12 on a motorcycle at 8:30 in the evening. The motorcycle has been found three kilometers away from the river. Both the police personnel were out of contact from 10 pm on Saturday. The preliminary police investigation shows that the officer might have been murdered in a clash with smugglers at the border region.

The government which has been unable to enforce its previous rules and measures has been announcing additional rules one after another as the cases of COVID-19 spike in the country. In a new rule, wearing a face shield has been made mandatory for passengers using public transport. Enforcing the new rule, the Department of Transport Management has asked the people to manage the face shields themselves while traveling in public carriers. According to Loknath Bhusal, spokesperson for the department, they have come up with new rules to ensure additional safety measures for the travelers. But in reality, public carriers are often seen overcrowded with passengers and have barely been following any safety rules imposed by the government bodies.   

The Lumbini Province Government has stated that the people’s representatives in the province have not been provided festival allowances this year. None of the people’s representatives under the Provincial Government including local units have received such allowances, the Chief Minister’s press advisor said in a statement on Sunday. The chief minister’s press advisor Sher Bahadur KC said so in a statement issued on Sunday after the issue of festival allowances was raised by linking it with the people’s representatives.

The Kathmandu Valley on Sunday added 1,698 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), reported the Ministry of Health and Population. This is 57.71 percent of the total cases added across the country in the past 24 hours. The number of newly-diagnosed corona patients across the country stands at 2,942, said the ministry’s Spokesperson Dr. Jageshwar Gautam. Of the three districts in the Valley, Kathmandu alone recorded 1,469 new cases while 130 people in Lalitpur and 99 in Bhaktapur were diagnosed with the viral infection.

Nepal recorded 2,942 new cases, 2,326 recoveries, and 12 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). At a virtual media briefing, spokesperson for the MoHP, Jageshwar Gautam said that 2,942 new cases of COVID-19 were detected through 12,875 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted at various labs across the country in the past one day."With fresh cases linked with COVID-19 recorded in various parts of the country in the past one day, Nepal's coronavirus case tally has surged to 1, 32, 246," Gautam said. The Kathmandu Valley, which has been one of the hotspots of COVID-19 in recent months, reported 1,698 cases of coronavirus in the past one day.

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