After second Covid-19 death, government extends lockdown to June 2The Health Ministry has confirmed that the Sunday morning death of a 25-year old man in Banke was due to Covid-19.
A day after Nepal reported its first Covid-19-related death, the Health Ministry has confirmed a second fatality from the coronavirus.
According to Dr Bikash Devkota, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, a 25-year-old man in Banke who died on Sunday morning tested positive for Covid-19.
“The man, who had a fever and was suffering from diarrhea since Saturday night, died on Sunday morning at around 6:40 am in quarantine at Narainapur in Banke,” Devkota said on Sunday at a regular press briefing. “A polymerase chain reaction test performed on nasal and throat swabs from the deceased came back positive for Covid-19.”
The man, who came to Nepal on May 12, had been placed in quarantine by the district authorities.
On Saturday, the death of a 29-year-old postpartum woman was confirmed to have been due to Covid-19 complications, Nepal’s first fatality due to the coronavirus.
As of Sunday, 295 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the country, with two deaths.
Later on Sunday, in light of the increasing cases and the deaths due to Covid-19, the government decided to extend the nationwide lockdown until June 2.
“Today’s Cabinet meeting decided to continue the lockdown until June 2 midnight in light of an increasing number of corona cases,” said Yubaraj Khatiwada, the government spokesperson. “The next meeting will finalise the modality of the lockdown.”
The government’s previous decisions, including the allowing of agricultural, transport, and construction activities, would continue.
The decision to extend the lockdown came hours after India, with which Nepal shares a roughly 1,800-km-long open border, extended its lockdown till May 31.
India too has been on lockdown since March 25 but the Narendra Modi government has gradually started easing restrictions in some areas. According to the Indian Express, the government extended the nationwide lockdown by two more weeks with significant relaxations. Barber shops, salons, shopping complexes and markets can now open starting Monday, but domestic flights, schools and colleges, and hotels remain restricted, according to the paper.
In Nepal, following a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases, the lockdown has been enforced even more strictly.
Tika R Pradhan contributed reporting.