Prohibitory orders in Valley extended until May 27Shops selling daily essentials to remain open until 10am. Construction work at sites except national pride projects to be halted.
Prohibitory orders in Kathmandu Valley that have been in place since April 29 to contain the spread of the coronavirus have been extended until May 27.
A meeting of the chief district officers of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur took a decision to this effect on Tuesday.
“We have decided to extend the existing prohibitory orders, which will expire on Wednesday midnight, for another 15 days,” said Lalit Basnet, acting chief district officer of Lalitpur, who attended the meeting on behalf of Lalitpur Chief District Officer Dhundi Prasad Niroula. “In view of the growing crowds, we have also decided to extend the hours of opening shops and department stores selling essential foodstuffs until 10am. Construction work has been stopped, except at national pride projects.”
Initially, shops selling essential daily items were allowed to open until 10am and from 5pm to 7pm. Department stores’ grocery sections were allowed to open from 10am to 5pm. But last week, the decision was revised, and the evening schedule of shop opening was scrapped. Shops and department stores were allowed to open until 9am.
That, however, had resulted in crowds.
Kali Prasad Parajuli, chief district officer of Kathmandu told the Post that this time the lockdown will be going to be stricter.
“For any social function like marriage and bratabandha (coming of age ceremonies), only 10 people will be allowed to gather, but we have strictly prohibited them from using party venues for such functions,” said Parajuli.
During the last weeks’ prohibitory orders, such functions were allowed also at party palaces and hotels limiting the number of attendants to 15.
Of the total new virus cases Nepal is reporting, half of them have been found in Kathmandu Valley, making it a hotspot. Experts also had suggested that imposing a lockdown was the only way to break the chain of virus transmission.
However, the past two weeks’ lockdown appears to have contributed little in containing the virus, as the number of daily cases has been hitting a record high regularly.
On Monday, a total of 9,127 new coronavirus cases were reported across the country. Of them, 3,607 were recorded in Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu reported 2,775 cases, Lalitpur 505 cases and Bhaktapur 327 cases.
The Health Ministry said on Monday that there were 139 deaths across the country.
Meanwhile, the Kathmandu District Administration Office has directed Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Development Board to shut its outlets in Kalimati, as it attracts huge crowds in the morning.
“Retail shops will remain closed but wholesalers can sell up to 10am starting from Thursday,” said Binod Kumar Adhikari, executive director of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Development Board. “We have given one more day to retail shops to operate so that their vegetables won’t rot.”