Nepal | August 07, 2020

Partial lockdown from Monday

Roshan S Nepal
Share Now:

• Long-route buses to be halted, non-essential services to be shut
• International flights to and from TIA to stop from tomorrow

Kathmandu, March 20

In yet another drastic step to contain possible spread of the novel coronavirus, the government today decided to impose a partial lockdown by completely halting long-distance transportation services, international flights and non-essential services offered by both private and public sectors.

In his address to the nation this evening, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced a complete halt on long-haul transportation services with effect from March 23 till further notice. International flights operations at Tribhuvan International Airport will remain shut from March 22 to March 31.

The government has also decided to halt services offered by both private and public sectors, other than essential services listed on the Nepal gazette, across the country from March 23 to April 3.

The government has fixed 19 areas of essential goods and services. The services include postal, telegram or telephone services, transportation services (road, water and air), airport runway, aeroplane repair and maintenance services, water supply and distribution, tourism sector (motels, hotels, restaurants, resorts), supply of petroleum products, including liquefied petroleum gas, health services in hospitals and health centres, ambulances, production and sale/distribution of medicines, waste management (collection, transportation, disposal and recycling), banking, insurance, electricity supply, insurance and transportation and storage and distribution of consumer goods, including rice, lentils, edible oil and salt.

Apart from these, defence affairs related to the function of arms, ammunition or production of military goods and services concerning internal security, communications as well as services pertaining to internal security have been included in essential services.

PM Oli said the government would also coordinate with neighbouring countries to set up health desks at major border points to ensure no traveller is affected.

He added that the government would promote work-from-home culture as far as possible in the private sector. However, all government and private sector employees working in essential services sector will attend their offices as usual.

The prime minister made it clear that stern action would be taken against those involved in black-marketing, hoarding and creating artificial shortages in the market.

As far as the national economy is concerned, Oli said the government was minutely studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy. He said the government would soon announce programmes to ensure the economy did not face any squeeze.

Oli urged Nepalis living abroad to contact respective Nepali missions in case of any difficulty. “I am aware you’ve been facing difficulties in returning home. Don’t panic and contact our missions for any assistance needed. They will do their bit to resolve your problems,” said Oli.

Oli pledged to contribute Rs 100 million to the SAARC emergency fund set for coronavirus during a video conferencing of SAARC leaders on Monday. Oli also expressed commitment to cooperate with neighbours, regional and international friendly countries in fighting against the pandemic.

The prime minister reiterated the government’s appeal to the public to be cautious and not to panic.

Stating that the entire world was going through tough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prime minister said it was no time to be complacent and think that the pandemic would not affect Nepal.

Oli urged people to act responsibly by paying attention to cleanliness, staying away from crowd, staying at home as much as possible, not hoarding goods, ignoring rumours and following advice of experts and doctors.

“Fight against a pandemic is not easy. We need to make changes to our lifestyle and behaviour for a certain time. We do not have any other option,” said Oli. “The government will leave no stone unturned to prevent and control the contagion and in the treatment of infected.” Oli said, “I believe all my fellow citizens will exhibit strong willpower and high morale as you exhibited during the 2015 earthquakes.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 21, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:


Body left to rot in hope of resurrection

TIKAPUR, AUGUST 5 “Religious belief of bringing the dead back to life” has allowed a dead body to rot. The mortal remains of a man of Tikapur-1 of Kailali district started stinking after a pastor in the locality assured the family of the deceased that the deceased would resurrect with his pra Read More...

30 rape cases in 4 years in Darchula

DARCHULA, AUGUST 5 Darchula, the district in Sudurpaschim state, reported 30 cases of rape and attempted rape against women and girls in the past four years. According to Darchula District Police Office, most perpetrators are from within the circles of families, relatives and are known to the Read More...

Aviation ministry preparing protocols to resume international flights

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 As the government has announced all domestic and international flights will be resumed from August 17, all the concerned authorities are busy preparing protocols on how to manage the flights and passengers during this pandemic. Spokesperson for Ministry of Culture, Tourism Read More...

1,313 Nepalis repatriated

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 More than 1,000 Nepalis were repatriated today via eight flights. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), a total of 1,313 Nepalis were repatriated today. Nepal Airlines Corporation evacuated 151 and 265 passengers from Doha in Qatar and Dubai in the United Arab Read More...

Ncell transforms into a public company

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 5 The country’s largest private telecom company Ncell has been transformed into a public company. Publishing a notice today, Ncell informed its transformation to a public company. With this transformation, Ncell will now be recognised as Ncell Axiata Ltd and all its oper Read More...

Gandaki Province CM Prithivi Subba Gurung

No statutory ground to seek PM’s resignation

Gandaki Province chief minister Prithvi Subba Gurung is NCP (NCP) Gandaki Province in-charge. A former secretary of then CPN-UML party, Gurung is the supporter of Prime Minister and NCP (NCP) co-chairperson KP Sharma Oli. As the intra-party feud has escalated lately, CM Gurung has been quite occupie Read More...

Valencia captaincy snub hastened exit, says City's Torres

Spanish winger Ferran Torres said Valencia's failure to hand him the captain's armband and make him one of their highest-paid players were key factors in his decision to join Manchester City. The 20-year-old joined the Premier League side on a five-year contract this week for a fee reported t Read More...

India widens China app ban to cover more from Xiaomi, Baidu

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 5 India has banned some mobile apps of Chinese companies such as Xiaomi Corp and Baidu Inc, three sources told Reuters today, in New Delhi’s latest move to hit Chinese companies following a border clash between the neighbours. India in June outlawed 59 Chinese apps for thre Read More...