Lack of coordination among federal, provincial and local governments may prove costly in Province 5, say officialsThe province has so far reported 110 Covid-19 cases but management of quarantine and health facilities in many places remain in a dismal state.
A lack of coordination between the federal, provincial and local government in the fight against Covid-19 could spell a serious crisis in Province 5, some local government officials in Province 5 have warned.
Province 5 has so far reported 110 Covid-19 cases but management of quarantine and health facilities in many places remain in a dismal state.
In places that lie close to the Nepal-India border, the local governments say they are unable to quarantine and look after the suspected coronavirus patients.
“If the provincial and federal governments are not coming to our aid, we may as well shut down the quarantine centres altogether,” said Chandra Bhusan Yada, chief of Kotahimai Rural Municipality in Rupandehi.
Baijnath Chaudhary, spokesperson of Province 5 government, however, claims that the provincial government has already deployed all necessary resources to the local governments.
Chaudhary said the provincial government has disbursed Rs130.06 million to the local units for coronavirus response and preparedness.
The fund was deducted from the ministers’ monthly salary and was collected in the Corona Virus Control and Rescue Fund and District Coordination Committee.
According to Chuadhary, the provincial government had provided Rs 1.5 million each to rural municipalities, Rs 2 million to municipalitie and Rs 2.5 million each to sub-metropolitan cities.
But many local units say that the funds announced by the provincial government have not reached them. Many of these local units are located close to the Nepal-India border where the risk of coronavirus outbreak is high.
“The provincial government is currently in no position to provide additional funds to the local governments,” Chaudhary said.
According to the standard plan of action, the local governments are responsible for maintaining the quarantine facilities, the district administration for rescue, the provincial government for hospital management, and the federal government for medical support, like providing test kits and other essential medical equipment.
Province 5 has a large number of people who work in India. Many of them have already entered the country while many more are likely to return soon.
The local governments are woefully under-equipped and under-resourced to keep these people in quarantine and offer them treatment if necessary.
The federal government has not managed the resources required to manage the quarantine and health facilities for a large number of India returnees, Chaudhary said.
“If the number of cases keep on rising, the provincial and local governments will have a hard time handling the crisis. It is high time the federal government came up with a plan to avert a potential health disaster.”