The main opposition Nepal Congress has accused the KP Sharma Oli-led government of pushing the country into serious crisis due to its gross negligence and power-centric political manoeuvres.

Issuing a press release, the NC also said that the government had used the COVID-19 pandemic as a shield to protect the state power instead of scaling up testing and treatment of coronavirus patients on a war footing. "The government never accorded priority to prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection despite repeated warnings from the NC and all corners of society. As a result, it resorted to lockdowns once again rendering the low-income citizens and the daily wagers workless," read the release.

The NC said that COVID-19 patients were deprived of accessible and affordable medical care. "We would like to renew our call that the government act seriously and honestly in ensuring accessible and affordable medical service to the patients," it said. The main opposition also demanded that the government come up with relief package for low-income groups and daily wagers, who are facing the severe financial crisis due to the lockdowns and other restrictions.

In addition, the NC stressed the urgency to exempt interest on loans, provide relief on rent and make provision of refinance, keeping in mind the problems faced by small and medium enterprises. The opposition party has also flayed the government over its inaction and unwillingness to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the public in large scale.

"Vaccine is the most effective way of preventing the deadly virus. But the government is not taking its seriously due to its inaction and vested interest. Thousands of people who were given the first dose of the COV- ID vaccine have long been awaiting the second dose. The first dose of vaccine is likely to be ineffective if the people are not given the second dose on time," it warned.

Appreciating the international support in Nepal's fight against COVID-19, the NC called on the development partners to provide vaccines to the country considering the vulnerability.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.