‘Lockdown no solution to COVID situation’

Kathmandu, August 16

Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today said lockdown alone was not the solution to the current crisis situation spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Introducing blanket lockdown once again will not solve the problem. Therefore, we are preparing to allow businesses to resume operation gradually by formulating certain guidelines for a particular business,” said Minister Thapa talking to a media outlet here.

Minister Thapa’s remark came amidst criticism of the government from some quarters, stating that lifting of the months-long nationwide lockdown on July 21, was a wrong move. The country has seen a steep rise in COVID-19 cases after lifting of the lockdown, which was imposed on March 24.

Minister Thapa said since economic activities have just started it was not wise to reimpose lockdown. “We are thus mulling over introducing a system to prevent economic crisis without imposing lockdown.”

He said industries would be allowed to reopen shortly, but they would be asked to strictly adhere to heath protocols and the rule of social distancing.

The security agency was working hard to prevent illegal entry of people in Nepal through open borders. “Security personnel on border check posts have been working hard and we will increase their number in coming days,” said Minister Thapa. He also urged people to take the COVID-19 situation seriously and follow social distancing.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 17, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.