KATHMANDU, MAY 1
The National Human Rights Commission has urged the government to manage and operate holding centres, quarantine facilities, and isolation centres set up at the Nepal-India border points.
"Health check-up of persons returning home through a long porous border has not been conducted to confirm if they are infected with COVID-19. Therefore, it is urgent for the government to conduct health screening and COVID-19 tests before putting them in institutional isolation or sending them home," the rights body said in a press release. The government has also been told to maintain the factual records of persons coming to Nepal by international flights and land.
According to the NHRC, it is imperative to guarantee effective health desks and alertness at all the border crossings along India and China for combating the rapidly spreading second wave of the disease.
The rights body has also expressed serious concern about the growing pressure of COVID-19 patients in dedicated hospitals. "The gradual rise in the number of patients has forced hospitals to cut down their services. Therefore, we would like to request the government to provide adequate resources to the hospitals to ensure that no one is deprived of essential health services," read the release.
Likewise, the NHRC has suggested that the government issue circulars to responsible authorities of the provinces, districts and local levels for effective and timely delivery of health services to the citizens, while mobilising social organisations and civil society at the time of health crisis.
"In recent times, vaccination centres have been pulling huge crowds for anti-coronavirus shots. It is likely to worsen the situation due to lack of proper physical distancing.
Therefore, the government is urged to increased the number of vaccination centres," it says.
The NHRC has also urged the government to take necessary precautionary measures against the infection among jailbirds and police personnel in prisons. The rights body said the outbreak of coronavirus among some jailbirds in prisons had led to panic among their fellow prisoners and family members.
Many of the prisons are crammed beyond their holding capacity.
The entry of new members into prison and taking any jailbird to hospital for medical treatment have increased chances of COV- ID-19 infection.
The rights body has also told the government to ensure continuity and smooth delivery of regular health services for other ailments amid the pandemic. It warned that incidents of domestic violence could rise sharply during the period of prohibitory orders in most parts of the country.
A version of this article appears in the print on May 2, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.