Nepal | July 14, 2020

Kathmandu markets to reopen today, pvt vehicles to ply

Private vehicles allowed to ply

Himalayan News Service
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The government has decided to ease the lockdown starting tomorrow in lowrisk areas, including Kathmandu valley, by allowing markets to reopen and private vehicles to ply while adopting effective precautions against COVID-19.

The Cabinet meeting today decided to make the lockdown flexible and give momentum to economic and market activities that have been halted completely since the government imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 24 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Though Cabinet ministers were reluctant to comment on the decisions taken by the council of ministers today, sources confirmed that a decision had been taken to ease the lockdown from tomorrow.

While retail and wholesale markets will be allowed to open ensuring that necessary precautions have been adopted against the pandemic, private vehicles will be allowed to ply on odd-even basis, according to sources.

Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi said the government would announce the details of the Cabinet decisions taken today and the modality of the lockdown only tomorrow.

The government has been facing complaints of loss of business, income and even lives due to harsh restrictions on public movement since more than two-and-ahalf months. As the government was dilly-dallying to ease the lockdown amid spike in the number of cases of people testing positive for COVID-19, people had even started defying the lockdown in the valley. However, the police administration has been cracking down on those defying the lockdown.

Even private sector representatives had expressed reservations against the continuous extension of the lockdown and had requested the government to change the modality and allow markets and businesses to resume operations gradually.

Though the government has already allowed priority industries to operate ensuring necessary precautions, industrialists have been complaining that they are not in a position to properly operate their factories due to restrictions on mobility — both of people and transportation.

On May 30, the government had extended the nationwide lockdown for the seventh time till June 14.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 11, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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