Movement from one village to another banned in most local units of MyagdiThe local units have imposed fines and restrictions on people’s movement in a bid to mitigate the risk of local transmission of Covid-19.
Despite the government’s nationwide lockdown for the past two weeks to control the possible outbreak of Covid-19, people in rural areas continue to gather and move around by hoodwinking the authorities. To combat this problem, several local units in the Gandaki Province have taken stringent measures—imposing penalties on unnecessary movement and restricting feasts and social gathering—to limit the movement of people.
In Lamjung, wards 4 and 6 of Kholasonthar Rural Municipality have announced Rs 10,000 fine on any outsider entering the village, and for those organising feasts and gathering in public places. The decision was reached following an all party meeting on Monday.
“One will be fined up to Rs 10,000 and kept in quarantine facilities if found entering non-native villages, or found going from one settlement to another within the ward,” said Khim Bahadur BK, the chairman of Ward No 4. With this decision, the local unit has completely barred people’s movement from outside and within the local unit.
Similarly, Ward No. 6 has also set a fine of Rs 10,000 on those entering the village from outside and Rs 25,000 to households hosting guests or tourists.
“Our settlements are clustered. If one person in our settlement gets infected with the disease, the virus will spread like wildfire,” said Manalal Gurung, the chief of Ward No. 6. “That’s why we had to take such harsh measures.”
Ghalegaun, a popular tourist destination in Lamjung district, has already banned outsiders from entering the settlement. The Tourism Management Committee of Ghalegaun declared a fine of Rs 50,000 on anyone hosting new guests or tourists.
In Myagdi district, various local bodies have set up quarantine facilities dedicated to new entrants in their villages.
“Whoever enters the villages will have to stay in a two-week quarantine facility. This provision is applicable to not only foreign country returnees but also to those from neighbouring local units,” said Gobinda Sunar, the chief of Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Nawalparasi have sent 17 people home after quarantining them for two weeks at a facility in Rajahar. The quarantined people were recent returnees from India and other countries.
“We provided counselling to them and their relatives before they were released from the facility. We asked them to be on high health alert at home as well,” said Hari Sapkota, the spokesperson of Community Nature Cure Hospital in Rajahar where the seventeen people were quarantined.