A training related to the upcoming national census scheduled for today was postponed at the eleventh hour due to the increasing cases of coronavirus in Birgunj.

Some 136 trainers and trainees were present at a training organised at Siddhartha International College of Birgunj metropolis-15.

According to District Census Office, Parsa, census officer Keshav Gyawali, the training was planned as per the schedule approved by the Council of Ministers last year.

"The training was something planned long ago and was practically difficult to postpone given the fact that we're racing against time to finish all preparations before conducting the census, so we, after taking permission of the chief district officer, were all set to run the training by adopting health safety measures but to no avail. We had to cancel it in the end," he said.

"Aware of the risk, we were preparing to conduct the training by keeping only 25 to 28 people in a room as per the CDO's permission after learning that such trainings would go ahead as per the schedule even in Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, the places worst affected by the pandemic now," Gyawali explained.

He added that the training would be run on a later date by adopting safety measures.

Meanwhile, locals have criticised CDO Gyawali for giving nod to run the exam going against the prohibitory order issued by his own office.

A participant in the training, on condition of anonymity, said he had to attend to the training after he was told that he would otherwise lose his contract-based job.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 1, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.