PIL filed seeking measures to prevent Covid-19

Kathmandu, March 1

Advocate Purna Rajbanshi today filed a public interest litigation at the Supreme Court seeking adequate government measures to tackle a possible outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

The petitioner also urged the court to ensure adequate number of health professionals at  Tribhuvan International Airport, to carry out screening of passengers and to halt direct flights from and to China, South Korea and Japan.

He also urged the court to order the government to establish health desks at the northern border with adequate number of health professionals to ensure that Covid-19 infected people did not enter Nepal.

Wuhan of China is the epicentre of coronavirus that has spread to more than 50 countries.

The petitioner also demanded that the government carry out awareness programmes immediately to inform the public about precautionary measures as the possibility of Covid-19 outbreak was high in Nepal.

The petitioner said that various countries were taking precautionary measures to control the possible outbreak of Covid-19 and World Health Organisation had also sounded global alarm, but Nepal, which shares border with China in the north had done nothing at the northern border to check possible outbreak of coronavirus.

He stated that Nepal was allowing passengers from coronavirus affected countries such as China, South Korea and Japan to enter Nepal without subjecting them to enough precautionary checks, which posed a risk to the public in Nepal.

Stating that Chinese citizens who landed at Tribhuvan International Airport were directly heading to programme venues in Nepal, the petitioner said there was no plan with the Health Department to quarantine and treat a few hundred or thousand people and neither had the authorities expanded the scope of checks at the TIA. “The government is in deep slumber as if nothing has happened,” the petitioner said.

The petitioner has made the Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Health and Population, Department of Health Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Immigration defendants.