Republica Morning Brief: Sept 25

Published On: September 25, 2020 06:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung transit point, one of the two major land routes of Nepal-China trade, has been opened since Wednesday, after the Chinese authorities expressed their consent to conditionally reopen the border point for movement of traded goods. A few consignments carrying Chinese products entered Nepal on Wednesday evening. The Chinese side has allowed the transport of a limited number of cargo containers with strict safety measures, according to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies. Both Nepal-China border points of Rasuwagadhi-Kerung and Tatopani-Khasa have remained closed since late January to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus which was first detected in Wuhan of Hubei Province of China in late 2019.

Pillar number 11 erected in the Lalung area in Namkha Rural Municipality-6 of Humla along the Nepal-China border which was said to have been missing for several years was recovered on Thursday. A team of Nepali authorities led by Chief District Officer of Humla Chiranjibi Giri recovered the missing border pillar during a field visit on Wednesday. This comes amid media reports on the alleged construction of 11 buildings in the Nepali territory by the Chinese side. Chairman of Namkha Rural Municipality inthe district Bishnu Bahadur Tamang said the missing border pillar was found at Takule area. The border pillar was found to have been covered by snow. 

The Indian government on Thursday handed over Rs 1.54 billion to the Nepal government as a part of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction commitment. Following the mega earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the Indian government had committed US$ 150 million in grants and line of credit toward housing sector projects. With this handover, India has reimbursed about USD 72 million in grants to Nepal for housing sector reconstruction. Out of the Government of India’s commitment to rebuild 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, the reconstruction of some 92 percent of the houses has already been completed. The Indian government has also committed to support the reconstruction of 70 schools and one library under US $ 50 million grant assistance. 

 With less than 73 percent of the total people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) seen recovery so far, Nepal's COVID-19  recovery rate stands the lowest among the SAARC countries. Pakistan has recorded the highest recovery rate of 95.5 percent followed by Sri Lanka where 94.1 percent of COVID-19 infected patients have gained recovery. India has also witnessed a recovery rate of 81.6 percent while the rate of recuperation in the Maldives stands at 86.3 percent. Nepal is behind Afghanistan (83.3), Bhutan (75.1) and Bangladesh (73.1) in terms of the recovery rate among the infected patients. Nepal, however, is one among three SAARC countries that have witnessed less than one percent mortality rate among the COVID-19 patients. Only 0.7 percent of the total COVID-19 patients in Nepal have succumbed to this disease as of Thursday.

 Supporters of Dr Govinda KC took to the streets in Kathmandu on Thursday to express solidarity. People gathered at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu on Thursday despite heavy rainfall, and chanted slogans against the government for its failure to address the demands put forth by Dr KC. A minor clash also erupted between the supporters of Dr KC and the police on duty.

General Secretary of Nepali Congress Shashank Koirala recovered from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Thursday. Koirala tested negative for the virus during a follow up test. He was diagnosed with the viral infection on September 9 and was later admitted to the Chabahil-based Om Hospital for treatment after high fever. He was discharged from the hospital on September 19 at the recommendation of the medics and was in isolation at his home.

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