5,000-bed quarantine facilities to be set up in valley

Kathmandu, March 22

The government has decided to build public quarantine facilities with a capacity to accommodate at least 5,000 individuals in Kathmandu valley.

A meeting of a taskforce led by Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai this morning decided that all agencies concerned would be mobilised jointly to build the quarantine facility that can be immediately converted into a temporary hospital if needed.

The taskforce, which was formed by the high-level coordination committee for prevention and control of the novel coronavirus yesterday, also decided to recommend the high-level committee to build such quarantine facilities at provincial and local levels in the country.

As per the decision, each province and metropolitan city will be asked to build quarantine facilities that can accommodate at least 2,000 individuals.

Every sub-metropolitan city will have to build 1,000-bed quarantine facilities. Similarly, municipalities and rural municipalities of Himalayan region will have to build 500-bed quarantine centres. In hilly region, they have to establish 1,000-bed facilities and in Tarai region they have to build 2,000-bed public quarantine facilities.

According to the taskforce’s decision, a team led by the Ministry of Home Affairs and represented by the Ministry of Health and Population and all four security agencies submitted a draft protocol on building such quarantine facilities. On the basis of the protocol, a team led by the ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, Urban Development and all four security agencies will submit a plan, including financial and logistical management to run such quarantine facilities, by 11:00am tomorrow.

Department of Tourism and Nepal Tourism Board will coordinate with Nepal Hotel Association and Hoteliers Association to identify hotels that can accommodate at least 2,000 individuals at a given location. A report on this will be submitted by 11:00am tomorrow.

Chief district officer of Kathmandu will also submit a report on how many individuals could be accommodated at Ichangunarayan Sthal and Manmohan Memorial Hospital for quarantine purposes, by 10:00am tomorrow.

Also, private school organisations, including PABSON, N-PABSAN and HISSAN, will identify schools or hostels that could accommodate at least 2,000 individuals at a given location for quarantine purposes by tomorrow morning.

The National Sports Council will identify possibilities and expected capacities for setting up quarantine facilities at hostels and stadiums (including setting up tents) in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Pokhara, Butwal and Dharan by tomorrow morning at 11:00 am.

The taskforce will meet at 11:00am tomorrow morning, and proceed accordingly ahead as per the submitted report for building the quarantine facilities.