The main opposition Nepali Congress today said that the KP Sharma Oli-led government was a complete failure in protecting the lives of citizens during the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

"Gross negligence, irresponsible acts and insensitivity on the part of the government have not only destabilised the political situation, but also put the lives of citizens at risk. Confirmation of nearly 47 per cent of COVID-19 cases among those who underwent PCR test for the virus shows how frightening the present situation of the pandemic is," read a press release issued by the Organisation Department of the NC.

"Despite these, the government is doing precious little for prevention and control of the contagion.

Instead of adopting necessary measures against the disease, the government has sent a panic wave among people stating that the existing health system was too less to curb the spread of the virus."

The NC alleged that the government had also failed to set up the required number of isolation centres, quarantine facilities and holding centres in association with the provincial and local levels.

"With COVID-19 cases rising steeply and more patients in need of special medical attention, all health facilities in the country are reeling under acute shortage of necessary medical equipment, oxygen, ICU bed, ventilator and other supplies," the release read.

The NC also warned the government that black-marketers were raising their heads for profiteering amid the pandemic. It urged the government to ensure that all necessary arrangements were in place to curb the spread of the virus and provide medical services to patients without discrimination.

The NC underscored the need to initiate the process of hiring more doctors and health workers on contract to fill resource gaps at the provincial and local levels, while bringing frontline workers and employees under insurance coverage.

The NC has also called on the government to announce a relief package for the public, daily wagers and small entrepreneurs.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 7, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.