Police arrest landlord for evicting a staff nurse from her rented house in DangFollowing the incident, the District Administration Office has issued a notice asking homeowners to refrain from such discriminatory activities towards health professionals.
Police on Tuesday arrested a landlord in Ghorahi who asked his tenant, a staff nurse, to vacate her flat. Narayan Acharya had refused entry to his tenant to her rented flat since Saturday citing his fear of contracting coronavirus from her. The staff nurse had taken up residence at Acharya’s house from mid-November last year.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sumit Khadka, who is also the spokesperson for Dang district police, said, “We arrested Acharya on Tuesday following a complaint from his tenant.”
Balaram Sharma, the director of Buddha International Hospital where the staff nurse is currently employed, said that he had accompanied her to the police station on Monday. “She made a verbal complaint against her landlord,” said Sharma.
The staff nurse, who asked her name to be withheld for privacy reasons, has been staying at a hotel since her eviction, according to Govinda Prasad Rijal, chief district officer of Dang. “We have asked her to see us so that the investigation can move forward,” he said. Acharya is also the secretary of Ghorahi Sub-metropolis Ward No. 2, according to Rijal.
When the Post contacted the evicted tenant, she refused to comment.
Meanwhile, following the incident, the District Administration Office on Monday issued a notice requesting landlords to refrain from such activities. "Any landlord asking health workers to vacate their residence will be punished according to the law," reads the notice.
Ever since the novel coronavirus pandemic reached Nepal with five positive cases reported so far, reports of health care workers being subjected to forced evictions from their rented houses and mistreatment by their landlords are doing the rounds.
While no complaints have been filed with the police so far in Kathmandu, there is a growing concern of discriminatory behaviour towards health professionals.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of May 27, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 had spread to 210 countries and infected more than 5,684,795 people with 352,225 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 150,793 with 4,344 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 57,705 confirmed cases with 1,197 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 772 cases with four deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.