Prohibitory orders reimposed in several places across country to contain Covid-19District administrations and local units take preventive measures for upcoming Tihar and Chhath festivals.
The district administration offices and local units in Province 1 have reimposed prohibitory orders in various places in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the upcoming Tihar and Chhath festivals. The authorities have also banned deusi-bhailo programmes and social gatherings during the festive season.
On Monday, the District Administration Office in Sunsari imposed a prohibitory order until November 21. The administration in Sunsari has also banned deusi-bhailo programmes this Tihar.
Chief District Officer of Sunsari Phanindramani Pokharel said, “This prohibitory order is the continuation of previous such orders imposed a few months ago. We have reimposed the prohibitory order to control the spread of the virus during the festival season. The flow of people in the market and bazaar areas has again increased for the upcoming festivals.”
Local administration in Morang has requested locals not to form large gatherings in rivers and ponds for the upcoming Chhath festival. According to the local authorities, Biratnagar has seen an uptick in the number of infections in the last few days.
Kosh Hari Niraula, chief district officer in Morang, said, “We have requested locals to stay home and observe the upcoming festivals. The administration has not banned the celebration of any festivals but we have restricted social gatherings during the pandemic.”
Phidim Municipality in Panchthar has also imposed a lockdown in the municipal area. The lockdown has been enforced from October 4 for 15 days.
In Udayapur, the District Covid-19 Crisis Management Committee has restricted locals from entering rivers and streams during the Chhath festival and has also banned deusi-bhailo programmes. The committee has declared rivers and streams across the district as restricted areas on November 20 and 21, said Chief District Officer of Udayapur Chakrapani Pandey.
In Gandaki Province, some local units have reimposed lockdown whereas some have sealed their boundaries. In Myagdi, Beni Municipality has imposed a lockdown for 14 days starting from October 30. Malika Rural Municipality, Annapurna Rural Municipality and Mangala Rural Municipality have also shut down market areas, banks and financial institutions, except for essential services. In Mustang, the local administration has directed locals to curb unnecessary movement. Hiradevi Paudel, chief district officer of Mustang, said, “Two individuals tested positive in Jomsom on October 28. We have to be extra careful now. That’s why we are taking preventive measures and have advised the locals to stay indoors.”
Marsyangdi Rural Municipality in Lamjung has also closed all services, except essential ones, for six days starting Sunday. Bhimad and Suklagandaki municipalities in Lamjung have reimposed lockdowns whereas Gorkha Municipality in Gorkha has closed services except for emergency ones for five days starting from Monday. In Parbat, Jaljala Rural Municipality has been sealed from November 3.
Ward No. 9 of Kushma Municipality has been sealed from November 4. Offices of local units in Hupsekot Rural Municipality and Kawasoti Municipality in Nawalparasi (East) have also been closed after some employees of the offices tested positive for Covid-19.
In Province 2, local administrations have issued public notices banning large gatherings for religious activities. Dipak Koirala, the assistant chief district officer in Dhanusha, said, “We will appeal to locals not to play deusi-bhailo and request them to celebrate Chhath festival at home. But we are yet to reimpose the lockdown or prohibitory order.”
Chief District Officer of Parsa Aasman Tamang said, “We have issued a public notice directing people not to organise large gatherings in religious sites. We are going to implement a new plan for safety and health alertness during Tihar and Chhath festivals.”
Rautahat administration has prohibited locals from holding large gatherings in religious sites from Monday till December 2. Indradev Yadav, chief district officer in Rautahat, said, “This is just the continuation of the prohibitory orders that we had imposed earlier.”
Chief District Officer of Sarlahi Surendra Paudel said, “We are also going to request the locals to observe the upcoming festivals at their homes. We will discuss with the chiefs of the local units and take a decision soon.”
In Surkhet, the District Administration Office has banned deusi-bhailo programmes during the Tihar festival. Shree Shumsher Rana Magar, the administrative officer at the district office, said, “We have issued a public notice banning deusi-bhailo programmes, gatherings and fairs during the festival season. The office has also prohibited business activities, except essential services, after 7pm.”
The District Administration Office in Rukum (West) has imposed a prohibitory order in four of its wards until further notice. Ward numbers 9, 10, 11 and 12 of Aathbiskot have been sealed from Friday. Chief District Officer Badrinath Gairhe said, “We have imposed the prohibitory order to prevent the further spread of the virus.”
In Humla, the District Disaster Management Committee has made PCR reports mandatory before entering the district. Chief District Officer of Humla Chiranjibi Giri said, “We have made PCR reports compulsory for those who arrive in Humla through flights. Until now, seven individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in Humla.”
Meanwhile, in Lumbini Province, all local units have lifted restrictions on public movement after the province reported a decrease in the number of Covid-19 patients. As of Monday, the rate of recovery of Covid-19 patients in the province is 84.28 percent, according to the data of the Ministry of Social Development.
“Almost all hospitals and isolation centres of 109 local units are vacant now. So far, the province has 3,300 Covid-19 patients,” said Rabilal Panta, secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law. “We have not imposed a lockdown but there’s still a risk of the spread of Covid-19. That’s why we have to stay on high alert.”
With inputs from our correspondents from Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali and Province 2.