ICYMI: Top stories from Wednesday, April 8These are some of the best stories from The Kathmandu Post (April 8, 2020).
Some of the big stories from today's Post.
Oli emerges to address the nation but questions remain regarding measures to fight the pandemic
After earning criticism for his uncharacteristic silence at a time of crisis, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli finally emerged before the public on Tuesday to address the nation via television.
While expressing sympathy for the plight of many Nepalis who are suffering under the strict conditions imposed by the lockdown, Oli stressed that social distancing was the only way to keep Covid-19 at bay. Nepal has been under lockdown since March 24, with an extension up to April 15.
Dependent on a daily cash flow and with few savings, small and medium enterprises risk collapse
Khem Bhattarai owns a motorcycle workshop in Gairidhara where he employs four workers. Bhattarai earns about Rs40,000 a month but his expenses are almost the same, leaving him with few savings. His family of eight depends on income from the workshop to survive but ever since the lockdown, Bhattarai has no business and no means to feed his family.
“I have fixed costs to bear despite not making a rupee,” said Bhattarai.
He pays Rs15,000 in rent and does not expect it to be waived as his landlords depend on rent for their own livelihoods.
Shanker Group owner Agrawal arrested for overpricing thermal guns
Police on Tuesday arrested Sulav Agrawal, the owner of Shanker Group, on charge of blackmarketeering thermal guns used to screen people for high fever.
Senior Superintendent Sahakul Thapa of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division said Agrawal was arrested in Naxal for selling infrared thermometers, which cost around Rs 3,000-3,500 per unit, at Rs 16,000 each.
Police have confiscated 67 thermal guns, which are in high demand because of the Covid-19 pandemic, from Agrawal, also the honorary consul of Kyrgyzstan in Nepal.
Government is completely lost and out of focus in its preparedness against Covid-19, medical experts say
The Nepalese Society of Critical Care Medicine is providing a three-day intensive care training from Wednesday to doctors and nurses recently hired by the government for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
The Ministry of Health and Population has hired 45 nurses—41 staff nurses and 4 nursing officers and 28 doctors, who had recently graduated from Patan Academy of Health Sciences—to deploy them in intensive care units where necessary.
India halts all rice exports but Nepal will be fine, say officials
Last week, Indian rice traders decided to stop signing new export contracts amid the nationwide lockdown instituted by the Narendra Modi government to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Their decision was triggered by labour shortages and logistics disruptions, as all workers have been forced indoors.
On March 25, through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, the Indian government announced distribution of 5 kilos of rice or wheat and a kilo of pulses for the next three months to the poor. This scheme alone covers about two-thirds of the population, or 800 million people.