Flight suspension extended till April 30

Kathmandu, April 7

The government today decided to extend suspension of international flights to and from Tribhuvan International Airport till April 30.

A meeting of the high-level committee for the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus today decided to extend the suspension by another two weeks. The previous restrictions were scheduled to expire on April 15.

The meeting, however, did not take any decision regarding operation of domestic flights. The committee’s Member Secretary Narayan Prasad Bidari said both domestic and international flights remain suspended for now, and added a decision on domestic flights would be taken soon.

The meeting also decided that the National Planning Commission would study the impact of COVID-19 on the national economy.

The committee also decided to expedite COV- ID-19 testing in high-risk areas, such as Kailali, Kanchanpur and Baglung.

Bidari said mass testing would be conducted under the Rapid Diagnostic Test system, while those testing positive would be again tested through the more reliable polymerase chain reaction method.

“The testing exercise will then be expanded to other high-risk areas including Doti, Achham and Jumla,” said Bidari. He added that the government had kept 1,939 ambulances on standby for possible transfer of COVID-19 patients.

According to Bidari, the government has distributed relief to 114,316 households across the country. There are 9,228 individuals in quarantine.

The government has acted against more than 2,600 individuals and 2,235 vehicles for breaching lockdown restrictions since it was enforced.

Bidari said the restriction on movement of people and vehicles would continue to be imposed strictly, while ensuring smooth supply of essentials.

He said the government would procure materials through the Nepali Army on government-to-government basis and the Department of Health Services following regular process.

“Our diplomatic missions abroad will also be playing a role in bringing in medical equipment donated by governments and institutions,” said Bidari.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 08, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.