As Covid-19 restrictions get stricter in Valley; rule violators face finesPolice say enforcing the restrictions in Valley’s inner neighbourhoods and outskirts is still a challenge.
Stricter prohibitory orders came into effect in Kathmandu Valley for a week from Friday as police shut grocery stores and office vehicles were allowed to operate only on specified time in the morning and the evening.
“We have been told to implement prohibitory orders more strictly,” said Senior Superintendent Sushil Singh Rathour, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Office. “We used to let people go after detaining them for a few hours or after reminding them of the rules. But under the latest rules, officers can take action and fine those found defying the lockdown.”
As per the new regulations of the Covid-19 Crisis Management Ordinance-2021, authorities can also fine the people who are found without masks in public.
“In Kathmandu Valley alone, over 300 people were fined Rs 100 each for not wearing masks on Friday,” said Rathour.
Police also stopped 1,231 vehicles for operating during the prohibitory hours without valid reasons and seized 1,400 vehicles for violating the lockdown rules.
“If vehicles are found violating the rules, then they will be impounded until the evening. In case the vehicle owner does not have proper documents, they will be fined as per the traffic law,” said Rathour.
Across the country, according to the data provided by Nepal Police, 2, 224 vehicles were stopped for breaching the prohibitory orders on Friday.
Police also fined 597 people for violating the prohibitory orders and collected Rs61,500 in fines.
According to the Covid-19 Crisis Management Ordinance 2021, those not wearing masks can be fined Rs100. Likewise, two-wheelers and four-wheelers defying prohibitory orders can face fines up to Rs2,000 and Rs5,000 respectively.
Most of the country is under prohibitory orders to contain the spread of Covid-19.
More than 6,000 police personnel have been deployed in the Valley to enforce the prohibitory orders that were introduced on April 29.
The restrictions were tightened starting Friday with street vendors and grocery stores prohibited from operating for a week.
“We mobilised personnel from every police station to inform the public about the latest restrictions,” said Superintendent of Police Ramesh Basnet.
But the job of enforcing the prohibition orders, particularly in inner parts of the city and outskirts, has been a challenging one, according to the authorities.
“Police cannot reach everywhere. Patrolling the inner neighbourhoods and alleyways to enforce the restrictions remains a challenge,” said Rathour.
Public health experts have been saying that stricter prohibitory rules are not the solution to check the spread of the coronavirus but instead there must be more testing and isolating of the infected.
The country reported 6, 855 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to a government tally released on Friday afternoon. The government also confirmed 96 Covid-19 deaths in the same period.
As of Friday, the country’s total infections have reached 549,111, of which 113, 394 are active cases. The total death toll stands at 7,047.