Nepal | August 05, 2020

Pakistan urges calm as coronavirus cases surge, Sri Lanka stops flights

REUTERS
Share Now:

ISLAMABAD/COLOMBO: Pakistan’s prime minister called for calm after its tally of coronavirus cases rose to 256 while Sri Lanka sealed itself off and declared a partial curfew on Wednesday as South Asian countries tried to stem the epidemic.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Indian subcontinent topped 500 on Wednesday.

Officials imposed travel restrictions to block the spread of the disease amid fears that inadequate health facilities could be overwhelmed in a region that is home to nearly 1.9 billion people.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an address to the nation, urged citizens to remain calm and not rush to get tested.

“Only those with intense symptoms should go to hospital,” he said. “There is no need to worry. We will fight this as a nation. And God-willing, we will win this war.”

His comments came amid a growing dispute in Pakistan between federal and provincial authorities, with the latter struggling to secure sufficient coronavirus testing kits and blaming the federal government for failing to properly test and quarantine hundreds of Pakistanis who recently returned home across a land border with Iran.

Pakistan said on Tuesday it would require all arriving air passengers to show they had tested negative for the disease. Land borders have already been shut.

SRI LANKA CURFEW

Sri Lanka, which has recorded 51 coronavirus cases, said it would ban all incoming flights for two weeks from Wednesday to combat the spread of the virus.

Officials also implemented price controls on lentils and sardines to guard against price gouging.

Sri Lanka said its stock market would remain shut for the rest of the week as it attempts to minimise interactions and curb the disease. The Sri Lankan rupee on Wednesday dipped to an all-time low of 187.23 against the U.S. dollar.

The country has imposed a curfew in certain areas in a bid to control the spread, police said.

In India, where 147 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, authorities on Tuesday cancelled nearly two dozen long distance train services in a bid to curb the disease and also because of a fall in passenger numbers.

India also said a total of 276 Indians have tested positive for coronavirus overseas to date, and 255 of them are currently in Iran.

Officials in the western state of Maharashtra proposed plans to decongest prisons by granting bail for minor offences.

The Bombay Archdiocese, which is home to more than 500,000 Roman Catholics, also issued a notice exempting people from the obligation to attend Sunday mass for two weeks.

BANGLADESH REPORTS FATALITY

Bangladesh confirmed its first fatality from the disease on Wednesday, while its total tally of confirmed cases rose to 14.

Prices of essential commodities have gone up as coronavirus fears sparked panic buying in Bangladesh.

“We’ve 25% to 30% more in stock compared to the same period last year. There is no need for panic buying,” Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday.

Nepal said it was closing cinemas, stadiums, gyms, museums, swimming pools and dance bars until April 30. Schools and universities will be shut.

Passengers transiting through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan will not be allowed to enter Nepal until April 15, Nepal’s government said in a statement.

Nepal has also banned gatherings of more than 25 people in temples, monasteries, churches, mosques and other public places.

Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in South Asia:

Pakistan – 256

India – 147

Sri Lanka – 51

Afghanistan – 22

Maldives – 13

Bangladesh – 14

Nepal – 1

Bhutan – 1


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Former king Juan Carlos decides to leave Spain amid corruption allegations

Prosecutors looking into bribe allegations Pressure had been building on royals to take action Former king remains "at the disposal" of prosecutors The 82-year-old helped guide Spain back to democracy MADRID: Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a drama Read More...

Ruling party co-chairs stick to their guns

Oli to remain PM till general election, co-chair till General Convention: NCP leader Gokul Baskota Kathmandu, August 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli held talks today in an attempt to break the current impasse in the party, but failed to Read More...

Airlines seek permission to resume flights

Airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days Kathmandu, August 3 The government's decision to resume domestic and international flights from August 17 has prompted airline companies to start submitting their proposals to the Ci Read More...

Dhading bans sand mining during monsoon

Dhading, August 3 In view of increasing deaths related to river mining, the authority in Dhading decided to impose a complete ban on sand mining from rivers in the district during the monsoon season. There is already a rule that bans mining of river products using heavy equipment during the ra Read More...

File photo of Melamchi Water Supply Project tunnel.

‘Technical error caused Melamchi tunnel accident’

Kathmandu, August 3 A committee formed to investigate Melamchi tunnel incident has concluded that one of the sluice gates on the tunnel of the Melamchi Water Supply Project had broken due to a technical error. A project engineer and a driver had died due to the flood resulting from the breakag Read More...

reproductive health, Minister of State for Health and Population, Padma Kumari Aryal

Work responsibly, Minister Aryal directs employees

Kathmandu, August 3 Minister of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal has directed government employees to work responsibly as the ministry has the responsibility of protecting the property of over 30 million people of the country. She said this at the annual Read More...

PM visits under-construction museum at his private residence

Bhaktapur, August 3 Prime Minister and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli today visited his private residence at Balkot and met with people from different walks of life. This is the third time the prime minister has visited his private residence after being electe Read More...

‘Harsher punishment against acid attackers’

Kathmandu, August 3 Women and Social Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the home ministry to make some amendments to the legal arrangement and punishment related to incidents of acid attack, pointing out the need of timely revision. After the discussion held on ‘a Read More...