Kathmandu, May 13
The Nepali Congress today said the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government for the prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreak was marred with controversy and allegations of corruption.
Issuing a press release coinciding with the 50th day of the lockdown, the main opposition party argued that the lockdown had resulted in a huge economic loss to almost all the sectors, but failed to serve the purpose for which it was imposed.
“Nepalis are compelled to live a miserable life with no support from the government and the national economy has suffered a severe blow during the lockdown.
The only purpose of the lockdown was to prevent and control the spread of the deadly virus, but contrary to this, COVID-19 cases continued to surge with each passing day,” read the release.
The eight-page release mainly focuses on lambasting the government, projecting the NC as a responsible opposition party. The NC said had the government been visionary and serious after the first case of COV- ID-19 was confirmed on January 24, a situation necessitating the lockdown would not have emerged. “If the government had suspended international flights and sealed international borders after detection of the first COVID-19 case, besides putting Nepalis coming home thereafter in quarantine, the country would not have experienced the present situation resulting from the lockdown,” it read.
The NC also alleged that the government had defied the Supreme Court order with regard to suspension of international flights. “The lockdown put the citizens in a state of panic and stress, but Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli indulged himself in a power game without any sense of responsibility towards the people and country even during this unprecedented crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the party said.
It maintained that promulgation of two ordinances amid shortage of medical equipment to cope with COVID-19 and ‘kidnapping of a lawmaker’ had ended his moral and political grounds to govern the country.
The NC also said that the quarantine centres set up by the government did not meet the generally accepted standards and contributed to outbreak of other infectious diseases.
“The government did not bother much about resolving the border disputes with India. We demand that the government remove Indian security forces from Kalapani and publish a new political map by incorporating the lands encroached by the southern neighbour,” the release added.
It said the government should also announce relief package for all the sectors, including media affected by the lockdown, rescue citizens stranded in foreign countries, ensure uninterrupted medical services to patients of other ailments and allocate cash from the COVID-19 fund. Currently, around three billion rupees have been deposited in that fund.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.