Government urges people to stay indoors as far as possible

KATHMANDU: The government has requested people to not venture out of their homes unnecessarily. The COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) has urged people to mandatorily wear a mask while going out and maintain physical distancing.

A meeting of CCMC, on Friday, decided to make quarantines more systematic, authorise province governments to monitor them, and follow national testing guidelines for those in quarantines to ensure testing within two weeks, committee member and Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said.

Likewise, a decision was taken to direct the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security to develop guidelines to bring back Nepali citizens who are unable to return home at their own expenses. The Ministry has also been given the responsibility of managing the mortal remains of Nepalis brought from outside the country.

The Health Ministry has been urged to make necessary arrangement for health examination and treatment of the groups facing health risks due to the coronavirus infection -- including women, children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.

The CMCC also decided to allow diplomatic staffers to return home upon completion of their assignment along with new ones who have been deputed outside the country, including their family members. Also, workers who are on a holiday from foreign employment and those going for employment will be allowed to leave for their job based on recommendation of the Labour Ministry. Likewise, students will be allowed to go abroad for studies based on recommendation of the Education Ministry.

The meeting decided to release Rs 350 million from the Central COVID-19 Fund to the municipalities, considering the need to establish more isolation and quarantine centres for addressing the increasing number of cases. The budget will be released through the concerned provices while they have also been authorised to seal off districts or municipalities if needed to check the spread of the virus.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has been given the responsibility of overseeing the management of food and services in quarantine and holding centres in the capital.