Republica Morning Brief: Oct 4

Published On: October 5, 2020 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has urged the general public to stay where they are and celebrate the Dashain and Tihar festivals. During a daily virtual media briefing by the Ministry, Dr Jageshwar Gautam, spokesperson for the MoHP, urged the public to stay home and celebrate the festivals. Earlier on Saturday, the health ministry had also asked the general public to visit the Kathmandu Valley only in cases of emergency. The ministry has been urging the public to avoid unnecessary travel as the country has been hit hard by COVID-19. On Sunday alone, Nepal recorded 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, including 1,599 in the Kathmandu Valley. The transmission of COVID-19 on a larger scale is feared as the festive season in Nepal is just a couple of weeks away. Nepalis travel from one place to another, mostly with their families, during this period.

 The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) confirmed 1,599 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Kathmandu Valley on Sunday. Kathmandu district alone witnessed 1,373 new cases while 187 people in Lalitpur and 39 in Bhaktapur were diagnosed with this viral infection in the last one day. With this, the total number of people contracting the virus has reached 29,317 in the capital valley which accounts for 33.76 percent of the total cases confirmed so far in the country. Meanwhile, Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts reported a death each due to this viral infection, taking the Valley’s death tally to 153.

 Nepal’s COVID-19 case tally has reached 86,823 with 2,253 new cases reported on Sunday. Likewise, the country also witnessed seven more deaths related to COVID-19 in the same time. So far, as many as 535 individuals have succumbed to COVID-19 in Nepal. According to Dr Jageshwar Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), 2,253 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results turned out to be positive for COVID-19 out of 12,784 PCR tests conducted in the past 24 hours. Similarly, 1,329 people who had earlier tested positive for the virus recovered and returned home in the past 24 hours. As of Sunday afternoon, Nepal’s COVID-19 recovery tally stands at 64,069 which accounts for 73.8 percent of the total cases. There are currently 22,219 active cases of COVID-19 across the country. For the past one week, Nepal has been recording new COVID-19 cases in four-digit numbers. According to the latest data from MoHP, 226 COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing treatment at the Intensive Care Units (ICU) while 34 are on ventilators.

The District Administration Office (DAO), Rupandehi, has enforced prohibitory orders in some places of Butwal amid growing protests in the city against the  decision of the Province 5 Assembly to make Dang the provincial capital. Tension flared after the proposal to fix Deukhuri of Dang district as the permanent capital of the province was tabled at the provincial assembly for endorsement. Stating that acts like vandalizing and torching government vehicles, burning tyres and organizing protests had risen, the DAO issued prohibitory orders in a number of places of Butwal Sub-metropolitan City from 10AM Sunday to 6PM October 7.

 The federal government of Canada has quietly settled a lawsuit filed by survivors and family members in the wake of a suicide bombing outside the Canadian embassy in Kabul four years ago that killed 15 Nepali Gurkhas and Indian private security contractors, CBC News reported. The former soldiers injured in the attack and the widows of the victims filed the $20 million court action two years ago. They launched their claim after the company hired by the federal government to protect Canadian diplomats in Afghanistan folded and disappeared, leaving its former employees and their families with partial compensation — or, in some cases, with no compensation at all. CBC News chronicled their plight in a series of stories published in the aftermath of the 2016 bombing by the terrorist splinter group Islamic State-Khorasan Province. Joe Fiorante, the Vancouver-based lawyer for the families, confirmed the settlement but would not disclose the terms, saying they're being kept confidential to protect the victims' families in Nepal.

 Bhaktapur Police on Sunday apprehended two young men on the charge of gangraping a 17-year-old girl in Bhaktapur. The arrestees include Nir Kumar Khadka, 22, of Chautara Sangachowk Gadhi Municipality-10 and Surya Shrestha, 21, of Jugal Rural Municipality-4, Pantang in Sindhupalchowk. The police have been searching for some other people who were also involved in the crime.

 The Secretariat Meeting of the ruling Nepali Communist Party (NCP) has been postponed until further notice. The meeting was put off for Sunday on Saturday which has now been postponed until further notice as members of NCP have contracted COVID-19 in a large number. Earlier on Saturday, PM Oli’s Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal, Press Advisor Surya Thapa and Foreign Affairs Advisor Rajan Bhattarai tested positive for COVID-19. Similarly, the PM’s Chief Personal Secretary Indra Bhandari and Secretariat Photographer Rajan Kafle were also diagnosed with the viral disease. Oli’s personal physician Dr Dibya Singh Shah had already tested positive for the virus. Similarly, 74 other security personnel deployed at the PM Oli’s official residence have also tested positive for the virus.

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