HoR panel urges govt to take effective steps to fight against novel coronavirus

Kathmandu, September 2

The Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has suggested that the government prepare a more effective strategic plan for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parliamentary committee’s suggestion comes amidst growing cases of COVID-19 throughout the country in recent days. It has also suggested the government to formulate an efficient plan for mobilising the retired health workers, public health experts and organisations involved in various social works at the community level. The committee president Sashi Shrestha said they have urged the government to become serious about the issue of all of the infected persons not getting access to tests and observation by health workers in time, due to the provision of keeping the COVID-19 infected persons in home isolation.

The committee said this provision also made the monitoring and follow up difficult. A latest decision taken by the committee meeting held virtually states, “The government should take the responsibility for the management and treatment of the infected persons for whom it is not possible to stay in home isolation at a safe and reliable place as the infected persons staying in home isolation by themselves without adopting the required health safety precautions heightens the risk of infection transmission to others.”

The committee members have also drawn the government’s attention to the possibility of the situation becoming scarier unless there is policy to address such issues in time. It has directed the government to provide PPEs, face shields, gloves and masks to health workers and security personnel working on the frontline for the prevention and control of the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has stressed the need to give special attention to provide motivation and social security to such human resources mobilised in the risky situation.

The committee has urged the government and the political parties to mobilise the cadres of their youth and sister organisations in the task of raising the awareness of the general public about the health safety measures to be adopted, the risk of coronavirus and the process of availing medical services.

The committee meeting reached a conclusion that it was the responsibility of the government to protect the lives of citizens at the time of crisis. It has suggested the government to disseminate adequate information to the public regarding the COV- ID hospitals and to make arrangements for the accessibility of medical goods including medicine.

The parliamentary committee has also directed the government to take action against people misbehaving with the health workers and the individuals and institutions refusing to provide treatment.

The government was also urged to coordinate with the provincial and local levels with technical support, financial management, construction of isolation facilities, speeding of the contact tracing and operation of mobile service for expanding the tests.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 3, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.