Over 20,000 people booked for flouting mask and social distancing rules in ValleyMore than 350 police officials across the country are infected with the virus.
The government on July 21 lifted the nationwide lockdown, almost four months after it was imposed, with certain public health guidelines like compulsory wearing of masks in public, observing social distancing and restricting large gatherings. However, many people in the Valley have been found flouting the health and safety rules.
According t0 the Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, a total of 20, 302 people were caught in the Valley as of Tuesday for not following safety protocols.
“Of them, 2,127 people were fined Rs 100 each while 18, 294others were released after a warning,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Sushil Kumar Yadav, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari.
In view of the growing number of Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs on July 6 had directed the authorities to take action against people who do not wear masks in public.
The ministry had issued a circular to the local administrations of all 77 districts and the Nepal Police Headquarters to take necessary action against the offenders.
The police took action against those who were found out in the public without wearing masks while the traffic police ensured that everyone in public vehicles were wearing masks. However, with the rising number of Covid-19 cases among police workforce, there has been a decline in the number of security personnel on duty, raising concern among many that more people will violate safety protocols.
According to the data provided by the Nepal Police, over 350 police personnel across the country have been infected with Covid-19; out of them, 119 have recovered.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Kuber Kadayat, spokesperson for the Nepal Police, his office has directed its personnel to avoid crowds and strictly follow safety protocols after the surge in Covid-19 cases among security workforce.
“There are fewer police personnel seen on the roads now as compared to the past,” said Kadayat.
The Baggikhana office of the division was also recently sealed and all 300 officers, including the division’s chief SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, are currently in quarantine.
Former officials fear that if the cases among police keep on rising at this rate, it may affect regular policing.
“Security lapses could be seen if they have to seal more offices,” said Hemanta Malla, the former deputy inspector general. “Criminals may take advantage of such a situation and the crime rate could rise due to inadequate personnel working in the field.”
Since the lockdown was eased on June 11, allowing private vehicles to operate on an odd-even basis and businesses to open, public movement has gradually increased. The Valley has so far recorded 980 cases of Covid-19.