Local representatives of Kathmandu Valley criticise federal government of not doing enough to contain Covid-19We are doing our best, but centre letting us down, they say.
With rapid increase in Covid-19 cases, the head of civic bodies in Kathmandu Valley have criticised the central government for not doing enough to contain the spread of the contagious disease.
People are walking on the streets without wearing a mask and are not maintaining social distancing, even as Covid-19 cases continue to soar, and the central government is not doing anything to prevent the spread of the virus.
“This is really a scary situation,” said Madhyapur Thimi Municipality Mayor Madan Sundar Shrestha, also the secretary of Kathmandu Valley mayor’s forum. “The central government has already done blunder for doing nothing to prevent the spiking of Covid-19.”
As Dashain is over, the number of people entering Kathmandu from across the country has increased, adding more risk of transmission of the virus. According to Rameshwor Yadav, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, an average of 25,000 people are entering Kathmandu Valley after Vijaya Dashami.
As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Valley has reached 81,068. While Kathmandu has reported 249 Covid-19-related fatalities so far, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur have recorded 68 and 63 deaths respectively.
Mayor Sundar suggested that the government do more to control the mobility of the people, the way Spain and the UK have gone into lockdown after Covid-19 cases increased dramatically.
Similarly Bhaktapur Mayor Sunil Prajapati also criticised the central government for its failure to contain the spread of the disease. “The central government couldn’t coordinate with local bodies, and that’s the consequences we are facing now,” said Prajapati. The city’s data shows that till date, 1,443 positive cases have been recorded in the city with 43 deaths.
He said the pandemic is going to get worse in the coming days. “Because the government has already announced that citizens should pay for their polymerase chain reaction tests, people won’t go for tests even though they are infected. How can everyone afford to pay Rs 2,000?” said Prajapati.
Hari Prabha Khadgi, deputy mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, also blames the central government for not making any concrete plans for the Valley. In addition to that, she is not impressed by the way Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya handled the situation.
“I feel ashamed to say we are elected representatives. Although I have done enough from my individual level, the mayor has done nothing substantial,” said Khadgi.
She criticised the central government and the mayor for not setting up a single quarantine or isolation centre in Kathmandu.
Another local representative and a vice-president of the mayor’s forum Chiri Babu Maharjan also blamed the federal government for rising Covid cases. “Now winter is coming and the Covid-19 sitiattion will get more severe, but the government is running away from its responsibilities,” said Maharjan.
He said the city received Rs2 million from the provincial government. “But we have not received any help from the federal government, and we do not have any hope of receiving any help,” he said.
“We are doing our best, but the federal government is going to make the situation more severe without doing anything substantial,” said Maharjan.