Nepal | June 03, 2020

Nationwide lockdown extended till May 18

Ram Kumar Kamat
Share Now:
  • International, domestic flights to remain suspended till May 31
  • Border to remain sealed

Kathmandu, May 6

The government today decided to extend the ongoing nationwide lockdown until May 18.  Today’s Cabinet meeting also decided to extend the suspension of domestic and international flights till May 31.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yubaraj Khatiwada told mediapersons that the government also decided to keep all border entry points shut till May 31 to stem the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the government’s decision, transportation of essential goods, including food items and medicines, will remain unaffected.

The government decided to allow the production and sale of agriculture goods, food items, fishery, meat and poultry items, medicines and construction materials for development projects. Basic banking services and industries will also remain open. Khatiwada said Central and Provincial COVID Crisis Management Committee would coordinate and allow these activities in districts, assessing the threat of COVID-19 infection in those areas; while doing so the committees would have to ensure that people involved in these activities follow the rules of physical and social distancing.

The government has sought people’s cooperation to enforce ongoing lockdown. It warned that if anybody violated the lockdown, crossed into Nepal or gave shelter to foreigners, then they would be punished in accordance with the prevailing laws.

The nationwide lockdown first came into effect on March 24 when the second coronavirus case was reported in Kathmandu. Since then the government has extended the lockdown several times to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Rameshwar Ray Yadav told THT that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to extend the lockdown, saying the risk of infection in Nepal had not diminished, as COVID-19  cases continued to rise in some Tarai districts of Nepal bordering India.

Epidemiologist and Public Health Expert Sujan Marhatta told THT that the government was resorting to the easy measure of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without utilising the lockdown period to increase coronavirus testing, the capacity of hospitals, supplies of equipment and training doctors and health professions deployed in diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients. “The government does not seem to have an exit plan. It is not taking into account the impacts of the lockdown on the economy and health of the public,” he said. He added that the government should have gone for relaxation in green zones.

Marhatta said the lockdown would not help bring the number of COVID-19 infections to zero, therefore, the government should start making the public aware of the risk of infection and the need to adopt social and physical distancing in their daily lives.

Marhatta said the extended lockdown that rendered many people jobless could cause other health problems, particularly among poor people and daily wagers, who were unable to meet their daily needs due to loss of shelter and livelihood. “The extended lockdown has become a pretext for the government to say that it has not been able to resume supplies of essential goods due to the lockdown,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Post-partum woman rescued from Baglung

POKHARA: A new mother was airlifted from Baglung and brought to Pokhara after she developed complications in her health post delivery. It has been learnt that the woman, who delivered her baby 10 days ago, had to be brought to Pokhara-based Western Regional Hospital as she fainted consequential t Read More...

Sunny Leone supports wildlife learning centre in LA

KATHMANDU: Sunny Leone seems to be helping animals return to the wild — it is evident in a Instagram post on June 2. Leone, who is currently in Los Angeles with her family, can be seen feeding a giraffe in the video. She has captioned the post as: "Felt so blessed we could support this w Read More...

Body of sixth person missing in Chaurjahari massacre found after 10 days

JAJARKOT: The body of the sixth victim of Chaurjahari massacre, wherein Dalit youth Nawaraj Bk and his friends were attacked by the villagers in Rukum West ten days ago, was found today in the banks of Bheri River. According to Deputy Superintendent of Jajarkot District Police Office, Kishore Read More...


Brazil sets another record for daily coronavirus deaths

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil registered another record number of novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday evening, as the pandemic in Latin America's largest country shows no signs of slowing down. The nation registered 28,936 additional cases of the nove Read More...

High-level panel to decide on easing lockdown by tomorrow

KATHMANDU, JUNE 2 The High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 formed under Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokharel will decide in a day or two whether or not to ease the lockdown. Member Secretary of the committee Narayan Prasad Bi Read More...

FIFA adds voice to protests over Floyd's death

BERN: World soccer's governing body FIFA has joined sports leagues, teams and players around the globe to express solidarity amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody in the United States. The National Football League, National Hockey League an Read More...

Nepal's ruling party stresses dialogue with India to resolve territorial dispute 

Kathmandu, June 2  Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Narayan Kaji Shrestha urged India to sit for dialogue with Nepal to resolve Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani issues. He welcomed Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's remark about resolving border disputes with Nepal through dia Read More...

Nepali Congress registers statute amendment bill 

Kathmandu, June 2 The main opposition Nepali Congress today registered a private constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat seeking to change the constitution's provisions related to citizenship, language, provincial boundaries and formation of a boundary commission. Eight Nepal Read More...