Gatherings of more than 25 banned in Valley. Vaccination proof a must to access public services from Jan 21Chief district officers issue an 18-point notice, effective from Tuesday midnight, in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Gatherings of more than 25 people have been banned in three districts of Kathmandu Valley—Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur—starting Tuesday night, while vaccination cards have been made mandatory for everyone to access public amenities and avail services from government offices, with effect from January 21.
The three chief district officers on Tuesday afternoon issued an 18-point order, “in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases.”
The country is reporting a steady surge in cases for the past few weeks, with three districts of Kathmandu Valley recording the highest number of infections.
On Tuesday, Kathmandu Valley recorded 1,286 new cases—980 in Kathmandu, 221 in Lalitpur and 85 in Bhaktapur.
In the last 24 hours, 1,981 new cases were reported across the country from 10,648 PCR tests and 463 from 4,385 antigen tests.
The percent positivity rate has jumped to 18.6 percent compared to Monday when it stood at 15.13 percent.
The Covid-19 Crisis Management Coordination Centre on Sunday had recommended a ban on gatherings of more than 25 people. On Monday, the Home Ministry issued a circular to district administration offices and security agencies to implement the recommendation.
When on Tuesday the decree was issued, Kathmandu and some other parts of the country were seeing huge gatherings to commemorate the birth anniversary of the king Prithvi Narayan Shah.
The chief district officers’ notice anyway appears to be giving a free pass to political parties when it comes to gatherings.
While point No. 4 puts a complete ban on gatherings of more than 25 people, point No. 2 has set conditions for political gatherings.
“Use of masks should be compulsory while conducting political, economic, social, professional and other activities, besides maintaining physical distance, and washing hands frequently, using sanitizer,” the notice says. “Health protocol issued by the government must be duly followed.”
The chief district officers have said no functions, gatherings, festivals and social events should be allowed in which more than 25 people attend.
“Political, social and administrative programmes in public places in which a large number of people gather should be restricted,” reads the notice.
As per the new order, all public vehicles should not carry more passengers than the seat capacity and they must wear masks properly, with drivers and helpers using face masks or visor, gloves. The order says that sanitizers must be made available for passengers.
“Passengers without masks should not be allowed in the vehicles and the vehicles must be sanitised everyday,” states the order.
The district administration offices have said people should produce vaccination cards to enter public places like offices, hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, stadiums, airports and parks from January 21.
“New orders will be issued if the number of cases continues to increase,” said Rudra Devi Sharma, chief district officer of Bhaktapur. “The order issued today will be in place until further notice.”