Government is preparing to extend the lockdown by at least one more weekThe Cabinet is set to meet in the evening and will assess all the situation across the country.
A Sunday meeting of the high-level coordination committee led by Ishwar Pokhrel will discuss the matter and will forward the extension proposal to the Cabinet, Surya Thapa, press advisor to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, told the Post.
The Cabinet is set to meet in the evening and will assess all the situation across the country, and other progress being made in preparation to combat Covid-19, said Thapa.
According to one minister, despite some sporadic incidents of people disobeying the nationwide lockdown, it has been largely successful, which has led the Pokhrel-led committee to mull extending the lockdown for a week, beginning March 31, Tuesday.
The committee will also come up with provisions to ensure that people have access to daily essentials, along with coming up with measures to support daily wage earners and other economically vulnerable groups.
Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said that the government would take necessary decisions to continue with the lockdown a day before the week-long lockdown comes to an end.
“We are considering continuing with the lockdown for at least one more week,” said Dhakal. “Since the quarantine period is 14 days, we are thinking of going for at least 14 days of lockdown.”
On March 23, the government had decided to put the entire country into a lockdown for a week beginning March 24 and lasting until March 31, after the identification of the second case of Covid-19 in the country.
Since then, three more cases have been identified, bringing the total number of live infections to four. The very first case was towards the end of January where the man recovered and was sent home.
“With positive cases increasing, the lockdown needs to be extended,” said Lekhraj Bhatta, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
Bhatta, who is also a member of the High-level Coordination Committee, said that the lockdown could be continued till all those who came from abroad are released from quarantine.
A day after Nepal went into lockdown, India also imposed a lockdown for 21 days, beginning March 25 midnight.
Anil Giri contributed reporting.