Valley Municipality Forum to campaign against COVID-19

Bhaktapur, March 23

‘Valley Municipality Forum’, a joint body of Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan cities and 16 municipalities in the Kathmandu valley, has decided to launch a mega campaign against coronavirus.

The forum called an emergency meeting yesterday and made public a 10-point common concept against the infection today.

The meeting decided that all municipalities in the valley would join hands against the virus, said forum secretary Madan Sundar Shrestha, mayor of Madhyapurthimi Municipality. “All 18 municipalities in the valley will jointly launch a campaign against the virus. Municipalities will spread awareness and manage quarantine zones in their respective area,” he said.

Schools, hotels, guest houses and community buildings will be used as temporary quarantine centres.

The meeting decided to make arrangements so as to ensure that health workers attending to suspected COVID-19 patients at quarantine facilities are safe.

It also decided to send suspected persons to the designated health institutions.

The federal government will be asked to build additional health institutions as needed and the respective municipality will provide necessary assistance.

All municipalities will manage water and soaps at places in their respected area and market monitoring will be intensified. Black marketers will face action and the federal government will be asked to intervene, if required.

The meeting has also appealed to the general public to acknowledge the notice and messages issued by the federal government and the World Health Organisation on COVID-19.

The meeting has decided not to shut down local units and the health centres. Other services besides essential services/supplies will be closed.

The forum’s secretary Shrestha shared that the meeting unveiled the common viewpoint on precautionary measures against COVID-19, which included self-quarantine for people’s representatives and the general public, shutdown of the services other than essential ones, among others.

The metropolis’s staffers will be kept on standby to come to the metropolis within an hour in case of emergency, according to the meeting.

The forum’s vice-chair and Lalitpur metropolis Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan said that all the local units in Kathmandu valley would move ahead forging a common viewpoint to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread and to fight this infection if its outbreak is reported.

The meeting has decided not to postpone or cancel the International Mayors’ Conference-2020 to be organised by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in Kathmandu from October 7 to 10 this year.

Although the preparation for the conference has been halted due to COVID-19, once the risk of COVID-19 is mitigated, preparation for the same will be accelerated, said the forum’s secretary Shrestha.

He said that correspondence had already been done with the mayors of 413 metropolitan cities, national organisations of 19 countries and 10 international organisations regarding the conference.

The conference aims to bring together mayors from all over the world to generate discourse on the recent trends in urban development, innovations, best practices and common challenges and solutions in several areas of city life.