Home Ministry bars entry of public to Singha Durbar over Covid-19 spread fearsThe decision has been taken in the wake of increased people’s movement and meetings on Singha Durbar premises, an official says.
The Home Ministry has barred members of the public from entering Singh Durbar, the government’s main administrative hub, from Wednesday, citing the threat of coronavirus spread.
According to Umakanta Adhikari, deputy spokesperson for the Home Ministry, gate passes issued to the public for entering Singha Durbar have been stopped for now.
“We have not completely stopped the movement inside Singh Durbar, but we have come up with the decision to make the public’s movement more managed on the premises,” Adhikari told the Post. “More people were entering Singha Durbar of late and there was an increase in meetings also.”
Every day, hundreds of visitors, including political party cadres from different parts of the country, reach Singh Durbar for official works as well as political meetings with government ministers.
With the controlled movement, only government staff and those with urgent government works will be allowed entry for now, according to Adhikari.
The government lifted the four-month-long lockdown on July 21 and since then there has been a sudden increase in people's movement in the Capital and also in Singha Durbar.
Covid-19 cases too have risen since lifting of the lockdown.
As of Tuesday, Kathmandu Valley reported 540 Covid-19 cases.
The national Covid-19 tally has reached 21,0009 and 58 people have died due to the virus.
The sudden decision to bar the public from entering Singha Durbar caused confusion among people on Wednesday, as they were waiting at the southern gate.
“New cases of Covid-19 have been on the rise in the Capital. There are meetings going on to assess the current situation, which will also determine for how long public movement will be restricted inside the Singh Durbar,” said Adhikari.
According to Adhikari, journalists’ entry, however, is not barred.
“If they produce their press cards and provide details about who they intend to meet, journalists can enter Singha Durbar,” said Adhikari.