KATHMANDU: Prime Minster KP Sharma Oli has addressed the nation regarding the latest COVID-19 situation in the country, and the corresponding prevention and control measures adopted by the government.
The Prime Minister stated that at a time when the whole world is reeling under the impact of coronavirus transmission, Nepal is also fighting its fight to contain the infection from spreading. He expressed grief over the lives lost both in Nepal and outside owing to the disease.
The country has been in a lockdown for 62 days, which will go on till June 2. In this regard, PM Oli stated that the government is aware of the difficulties faced by its citizens and impact on the entire economy owing to this phenomenon.
The government has taken it as its duty to free the people from the pandemic, to shield the economy from it effects, and to protect its citizens from disease and hunger, claimed the PM.
Highlights from the Prime Minister’s address:
The number of infections has crossed 600 and this increase in transmission has demanded of us to be more alert, to bring the infection under control through high-level planning, and to make the control mechanism more effective.
The lockdown has no doubt created hurdles in people’s day-to-day lives, however, it has helped in practising social distancing, to identify cases, to facilitate isolation, and to trace contracts. The steps taken for control of disease transmission such as closing international borders and flights, and implementation of health mechanisms have prevented harmful outcomes to a certain extent.
Initially, the tests for COVID-19 were carried out in just one laboratory in the country while now they are being conducted in 20 laboratories across the nation.
Co-work between the federal government and provinces will be made more effective to enable every local level to fight COVID-19 in terms of health security, health services, procurement of basic necessities, and maintaining of peace and proper management.
Places where rapid infection transmission has been witnessed will be sealed; “battle-level” tests and control measures will be taken forward in such places.
Service providers will be evaluated and made liable for award or punishment based on the role they carry out during this time of national emergency.
Coordination will be increased among the federal, provincial, and local levels to take necessary measures for fighting the pandemic.
Government will continue making efforts to protect the lives of its citizens. It is grateful for the support it has received from the people in this regard and hopes for it to continue in the days ahead.
The government is aware of the challenges faced by its citizens abroad and is in talks with governments of countries where majority of Nepali citizens are working. The government will rescue its nationals who are facing challenges outside the country during this time.
The unprecedented entry of citizens from across the border, facing many hardships, has also contributed in the rapid increase of transmission. Therefore, it is vital that those entering the country get tested, maintain social distancing, stay in quarantine, and follow other required measures of safety. The responsibility of which has come upon the local levels.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will soon take necessary measures to ensure that the academic year of students take the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) would not go wasted as their examination had to be cancelled just a few days before it began with the beginning of the lockdown.
Agriculture and opening of agricultural sector taking into consideration proper social distancing and safety measures would be ensured.
Government will arrange for the relief and facilities to the industrial sector who have had negative impact owing to the pandemic.
We need to understand that this virus and the disease it causes may not go away immediately, and therefore, our habits and practices are vital for the prevention and control of the contagion. The most important steps are to prevent the virus from spreading through social distancing measures and to increase immunity against it.
PM Oli’s five tips for Healthy Nepal
* Healthy and balanced diet
* Exercise at home
* Maintain hygiene
* Rest adequately
* Keep high morale
Prime Minister Oli, wishing every one good health, expressed confidence that we will defeat this crisis with high morale, good immunity, alongside the various measures put forth by the government.