Nepal | July 05, 2020

Govt told to handle crisis effectively

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Kathmandu, May 9

The National Human Rights Commission has come up with an 11-point recommendation to all three tiers of government, urging them for effectively handle the adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A press release issued by the rights body said the recommendations were based on the nationwide monitoring conducted by different committees formed at the federal, provincial and district levels. It urged the federal, provincial and local governments to be more vigilant for well-managed enforcement of the nationwide lockdown executed by the government as part of measures to prevent and control COVID-19. All three levels of government have also been told to adopt more reliable testing method for the virus.

The NHRC warned that increasing cases of COVID-19 despite the lockdown was worrisome and urged the government to expand the test coverage. According to the rights body, RDT is not as reliable as PCR. Only PCR testing technology can confirm whether a person is infected with the virus. “We request the government to speed up PCR testing and contact tracing of persons who have come in touch with COVID-19 patients,” read the release.

The rights body also urged authorities to ensure that hospitals and health workers have access to personal protective equipment.

“Cases of gender-based violence have increased during the lockdown period. Therefore, all three levels of governments should adopt effective measures to prevent and control of such incidents,” it said.

It expressed concern about the worsening situation of differently-abled persons, senior citizens, pregnant and lactating women and infants, and recommended that the authorities to pay special attention to their plight. “There is information that people are entering Nepal through the border points. The government must ensure that such persons adopt necessary safety measures and stay in quarantine for the specified duration. The government should also prevent chaotic mobility of people and crowd inside vehicles,” read the release.

The rights body also directed the governments to strictly implement the ‘Standard on Operation and Management of Quarantine for COVID-19’ for providing basic amenities to quarantined persons. Some quarantine centres lack basic amenities and skilled human resources and necessary medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 10, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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