Lockdown to continue, cabinet extends term till May 18


KATHMANDU: A meeting of the Council of Ministers held today has decided to extend the term of ongoing nationwide coronavirus-lockdown till May 18.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, held under Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s chairmanship, had reviewed measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic and the impact of the ongoing lockdown, but concluded that measures taken to control the spread of coronavirus thus far had been effective.

It was decided in the committee meeting to recommend the government to further extend the lockdown, a minister said.

The length of the lockdown imposed on March 24, which saw the most recent extension on April 27, was maturing on Thursday.

Read also: Flights to remain suspended till May 31

Ministers take part in the Cabinet meeting held at PM’s official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, May6, 2020. Photo courtesy: PM’s Secretariat

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai told THT that a proposal was presented in the meeting to categorise areas as green, orange and red, but the PM said it was not the right time to go for relaxation of lockdown on the basis of categorisation, as COViD- 19 cases continued to rise in India and in certain districts of Nepal bordering India.

Oli told the meeting that some countries that lifted lockdown early regretted their decisions later and Nepal should avoid such a situation.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addressing Cabinet meeting at his official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Photo courtesy: PM’s Secretariat

With this decision, Nepal will be under lockdown for almost two months until a different modality of rules and restrictions is decided upon.

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