Nepal | January 18, 2021

‘Govt should reveal localities of patients’

Ram Kumar Kamat
Share Now:

Kathmandu, March 25

The government is not revealing the details of coronavirus patients’ localities out of privacy concerns. The government has not revealed to the public which area did the first, second and third coronavirus positive cases come from, but lawyers say coronavirus patients should have limited right to privacy, as it was a pandemic that threatened the entire civilisation.

Senior Advocate Bipin Adhikari said while the government was justified in not revealing the names and other personal details of COVID-19 patients on account of everybody having the right to privacy, the government decision not to reveal the localities/areas where COVID-19 patients lived before being hospitalised was not right. “The government does not need to give the name and age of COVID-19 patients but it can tell the public where they lived because that would alert the public to take necessary precaution in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic,”

Adhikari said. Right to privacy, he added, should be protected mainly to protect patients from being victims of stigma and hate crime or violence, but if the government reveals the area where patients lived before being hospitalised, it would serve the purpose of protecting the patient’s privacy and make the local public aware of the risk of infection and the need to take precautionary measures.

Advocate Pankaj Kumar Karna said the government would be justified if it limited the patients’ right to privacy by revealing some details that could alert locals of the risks of infection. “This is not a normal situation, so all the rules of right to privacy should not apply.

The government should issue directives to address the right to privacy issues in times like these,” he said.

He added that the government should maintain a balance while protecting the rights of a patient to get treatment and live a dignified life in society. Karna added that individuals who had travelled from COVID-19 affected countries should also fulfil their responsibility of making the public aware of the risk of infection that s/he could pose to society.

Constitutional lawyer Bhimarjun Acharya said he would support the government if it acted in public interest at this time. “If the government decides to limit the right to privacy in the face of the pandemic, it should justify its action by giving convincing reasons that its actions are in public interest,” he said.

Executive Director of Freedom Forum Taranath Dahal said people that test positive should themselves declare their status.

“The government won’t err if it reveals the localities of COVID-19 patients. The only thing that the government needs to ensure is that patients should enjoy all their rights without being victims of stigma, hate or violence,” he said.


A version of this article appears in print on March 26, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

319 Nepalis living abroad have succumbed to Covid-19 thus far: NRNA

KATHMANDU: Two more Nepalis living abroad died from coronavirus infection in the past week. According to Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), one person passed away in London while the other one died in South Africa. According to the Health Committee under NRNA, with the latest fatalities, Read More...

Leach takes five wickets as nervous England near victory

GALLE: Left-arm spinner Jack Leach took five wickets as England edged towards victory over Sri Lanka in the first test in Galle, but they made a nervous start to their pursuit of a modest target of 74 and closed day four on 38 for three on Sunday. Jonny Bairstow (11 not out) and debutant Dan Read More...

Leicester march on, Chelsea end slump

LONDON: Leicester City maintained their impressive form as a 2-0 home win against Southampton extended their unbeaten Premier League run to five games to lift them into second place on Saturday. Goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes saw off the Saints as Leicester moved above champions Liv Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 93.86 million, death toll at 2,012,869

LONDON: More than 93.86 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 2,012,869​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...

In pics: A day in the lives of STIDH health-workers

KATHMANDU: Teku-based Sukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) which was established as centre for treating COVID-19 cases has been successfully providing quality care to the patients. Following the detection of the virus in country around ten months ago, the government had dec Read More...

PM has no right to dissolve House, SC told

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Lawyers representing the petitioners that have challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives today began pleading before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana. Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said the prime m Read More...

EC consults parties regarding snap polls

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 The Election Commission today held consultation with 11 political parties on midterm polls announced for April 30 and May 10. EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya informed representatives of political parties about its Read More...

Valley schools reopening after 10 months

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Schools across all local bodies inside Kathmandu valley have started reopening. They had been closed for at least 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24, the government imposed a blanket lockdown in a bid to subdue the spread of coronavirus, which hit the Read More...