National Human Rights Commission calls on government not to run away from its duty to treat Covid-19 patientsThe Oli administration on Sunday had announced only those who cannot afford would be tested and treated in public hospitals for free as there are insufficient beds with cases soaring.
The National Human Rights Commission has called on the government to protect the right to life of its citizens.
The call from the commission comes two days after the Ministry of Health and Population asked the people to pay for Covid-19 tests and treatment themselves and manage the dead bodies of their family members who have died of Covid-19 complications.
Nepal Army had so far been managing the funerals of dead bodies. The Cabinet has, meanwhile, decided to keep the crematorium at Pashupati open 24 hours a day and to build a new one too.
Issuing a press statement on Tuesday the constitutional human rights watchdog said it has found that different government hospitals have already issued notices asking patients to bear their treatment costs starting Sunday.
Article 35 of the Constitution of Nepal allows every citizen to access the free basic health facilities and makes the government responsible not to deprive anyone from the emergency service, according to the commission.
“The commission, therefore, calls the Nepal government not to deprive anyone from their constitutional authority and continue to manage the dead bodies of the Covid-19 patients,” reads the statement.
The Ministry’s spokesperson Dr Jageshwor Gautam on Sunday said that the government would pay for Covid-19 tests and treatment for only the financially poor, people with disabilities, single women and senior citizens and frontline workers, inviting widespread criticism.
Taking on to the social media platforms people said why they should pay the taxes if the government refuses from performing its constitutional responsibility. They asked the government to immediately backtrack from its decision.
The ruling party leaders too have criticised the government’s move asking it to correct its mistake without delay.