Republica Morning Brief: Oct 2

Published On: October 2, 2020 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Stating that a majority of the demands put forth by senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC had already been met and a few others were in the process of implementation, the government has urged Dr KC to withdraw his hunger strike. Addressing a press conference organized to publicize the decision of a Cabinet meeting on Thursday evening, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Gyawali urged Dr KC to withdraw his hunger strike “as the government is honestly working to fulfill his demands.”  “The government has already addressed Dr KC’s major demands. One of Dr KC’s major demands was to allocate 75 percent of seats in government medical colleges has already been implemented,” said Gyawali, who is also the government’s spokesperson. Minister Gyawali maintained that there was no point in staging a strike as most of his demands have already been met by the government. “The country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. So this is not the right time for Dr KC to stage protests. It is the time to collectively fight against the pandemic,” said Gyawali, while urging Dr KC to end his hunger strike.

The government has appointed Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi as the chief secretary. A Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Baluwatar on Thursday morning appointed Bairagi as the 25th Chief Secretary of the country's bureaucracy. The government's decision comes within hours of incumbent Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi resigning from his post.  Regmi's term as the chief secretary was due to expire on October 16. The government has decided to appoint Regmi as Nepal's ambassador to the United Kingdom. 

The government has decided to appoint former finance minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada as the country’s new ambassador to the United States of America (USA). A Cabinet meeting held on Thursday morning also decided to recommend the name of the outgoing Chief Secretary as Nepal’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, sources said. Regmi resigned from the post of Chief Secretary earlier on Thursday a couple of weeks before his retirement. The government decided to nominate Khatiwada as the new ambassador to the US, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradip Gyawali. The same cabinet meeting also decided to recommend Dr Nirmal Kumar BK as Nepal’s new ambassador to South Africa.

With 11 more people reported dying of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Thursday. Nepal’s coronavirus-related death toll has soared to 509. According to the data maintained by the Ministry of Health and Population, 10 males and one female succumbed to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Three males, aged 56, 50 and 27 from Sunsari; two males from Kathmandu, aged 78 and 68; a male from Bhaktapur, aged 68; a male from Lalitpur, aged 48; and a 34-year-old female from Banke died of coronavirus. Likewise, Rupandehi saw deaths of three males (aged 80, 55, and 42) due to coronavirus. Nepal registered its first death linked to coronavirus on May 17, 2020. The deceased, a local resident of Sindhupalchowk, was a 29-year-old woman. She died after giving birth to a baby.

In the first such case in Nepal, a doctor died of COVID-19 in Surkhet district on Thursday. According to Kritipal Subedi, general secretary at the Government Doctors' Association of Nepal, 58-year-old senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Hari Sapkota of Bheri Zonal Hospital died of COVID-19 in the course of treatment. He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at Bheri Zonal Hospital. Dr Saptoka was put on ventilator support 10 days ago after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Kathmandu Valley recorded 943 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the Valley’s COVID-19 tally to 24,903. The Valley witnessed four new coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday. Two men (78 and 68 years old) from Kathmandu district and a man each from Bhaktapur (68 years) and Lalitpur (48 years) succumbed to COVID-19. So far, 144 people have died of COVID-19 in the Valley. According to the data from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) on Thursday, 817 new cases in Kathmandu, 58 in Bhaktapur and 68 in Lalitpur were detected in the past 24 hours. A total of 1,911 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded across the country on Thursday.

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