The Karnali Province government has decided to set up COVID-19 hospitals in seven districts and corona treatment centres in all local levels.

A meeting of the Province Disaster Management Centre held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi decided to establish ICU facility in Jumla, Surkhet and Chaurjahari of Rukum East.

Spokesperson for the province government and Minister of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Bimala KC said the government was aware of the potential impact of the outbreak of a second wave of coronavirus in India and was geared up to mitigate the risk.

"Nepali migrant workers have started returning home from India,'' KC said, adding that Karnali Province Police Office had been asked to play a coordinating role to maintain details such as contact number and address of the India returnees.

Similarly, the social development ministry has decided to operate a hotline to exchange information about COVID-19 infections. The meeting has also decided to direct the chief district officers to urge public bus entrepreneurs to make masks mandatory for passengers and take other safety measures during travels, ask the social development ministry to disseminate information about safety measures and make people with symptoms of COV- ID-19 upon arrival at the entry stay in home isolation.

Moreover, the meet decided to urge the federal government to ensure enough supply of COVID vaccines to the province and if not, the province government will make efforts to get vaccines on its own.

The social development ministry is to prepare plans for other internal management of required budget and mobilisation of existing health workforce to undertake preventive and mitigating efforts.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.