Government seals off Kathmandu Valley’s entry pointsThose who need to come to the Capital for urgent work need to produce rapid diagnostic test results to enter the Valley.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to seal off all entry points to the Kathmandu Valley in view of the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak in the densely populated city, as people continue to move in and out of the Capital.
Following the decision, only essential services’ vehicles will be allowed into the city, officials said, adding that even those who need to come to Kathmandu for urgent reasons need to produce their rapid diagnostic test result before they are allowed in.
“We sent copies of the May 14 decision to all local governments yesterday. Security agencies have already started implementing the decision,” said Umakanta Adhikary, information officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs referring to the decision to seal off the Valley, passed by a meeting between mayors of all governments around the Valley, Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, home ministry secretary and three chief district officers of the Valley.
Following the decision and the dispatch from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday, security has been beefed up at all entry points to the Valley. The ministry has also revoked all the previous travel permits it issued for those entering the Valley.
There are six major entry points to Kathmandu Valley: Thankot-Nagdhunga, Pharping, Jagati, Tinpiple-Mudkhu Bhanjyang, Jaharsingh Pauwa and Kattike.
According to the circular sent to the local governments, even those who need to come to Kathmandu for urgent work need to produce their rapid diagnostic test report before receiving the permit to do so.
The ministry has also instructed all the local governments in the Valley to prepare a database of hotels, party palaces, community buildings and other places that can be converted into quarantine centres. Although it didn’t say who was going to be quarantined in such centres, the ministry said those who stay at such facilities will have to foot the bills themselves.
It has asked local governments and district administration offices to take necessary action against those sneaking into the Valley from different parts of the country, and maintain their records.
Authorities, meanwhile, have made it mandatory for all Covid-19 relief work, including the distribution of free food, to be carried out with permission from the local government and by following safety procedures.