Corona Virus Nepal: Government officials and experts have given mixed reactions to the demand made by the local people’s representatives to make the woodcut hard in Mangsir after the Kathmandu Valley became the focal point of Covid-19.
Last year, all the mayors of the valley had demanded the board of directors of the Covid-19 Crisis Management Operation Center (CCMC) to shut down the office as soon as the Chhath was over.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said that the spread of the infection would be reduced if the lockdown was carried out.
But a Home Ministry spokesman said he did not see any possibility of looting in the Valley.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 46 percent of the nationwide infections are in the Kathmandu Valley and 85 percent in the Bagmati region.
Why the demand for lockdown?
According to Mayor Maharjan, some mayors in the Valley were of the opinion that the rate of infection could be controlled if strictly woodcutting was done.
“After that, the home minister said that the Nepali government was thinking of shutting down for two weeks after Chhath. But now the method has not arrived, he said that we will work according to the method.”
“I was of the opinion that the announcement should be made on March 26 and then we should not sit idly by. We have to have a plan of what to do in the meantime if we want to lock down, ”Maharjan said.
“The home minister has indicated that one more week of lockdown could be added after 14 days, rather than testing and contact tracing.”
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The mayors of 18 municipalities affiliated to the Upatyaka Mayors Forum had a meeting with the CCMC Board of Directors.
Uddhav Prasad Kharel, chief of Budhanilkantha municipality, said, “If the infection spreads so fast in the valley, our hospitals will not be able to sustain it this winter.”
“The government has a problem. Therefore, it is necessary to inform everyone in advance and request them to stay away to control the rising infection rate after the festival.”
“If we can work hard for 14 days, there is no possibility of transmitting the infection to others and even the affected will be cured. I think it’s okay because the practice of lockdown is happening in other countries of the world as well. ”
What does the government say?
In a report released last week by the Nepal office of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Kathmandu metropolitan area is growing as a hotspot for Covid-19.
In the year the report was made public, 50 percent of the nationwide infections were found in the Kathmandu Valley.
But Home Ministry spokesman Chakra Bahadur Budha said he did not see the possibility of another strike.
The old man said, “Once the wood is cut, the situation does not improve or the vaccine arrives. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s been a long time coming.
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“Now we have to do economic activities and do development work. Even if we ask the general public, very few people will say that we have to work hard.”
“Even in the past, we had to open up and create a conducive working environment,” he said. There is no discussion about lockdown now. ”
Mentioning that the districts have also decided not to lock down as soon as the cabinet has decided not to do so.
What do experts say?
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Anup Subedi says that expanding the scope of testing and taking precautions to prevent the spread of infection should be a priority of the state.
“If the ICU in a hospital is under a lot of pressure, the lockdown will help ease it,” he said.
“It also reduces the spread of the overall epidemic. But if nothing else is done, it will increase the social and economic losses.”
He adds, “Lockdown is the last weapon. It is of little use if it is used as a single weapon, as soon as it is cut, the infection spreads again. ”
Dr. Subedi said that all those infected and those who came in contact with them should be tested free of cost, otherwise the epidemic would not be brought under control.
The WHO also said that monitoring, investigation of the incident and identification and testing of those who came in contact with the infected should be further expanded.
According to the Ministry of Health, 1,628 beds, 279 ICUs, 122 HDUs and 147 ventilators have been allocated for 19 Kovid infected people in the Kathmandu Valley.
The ministry’s monitoring found that 40 percent of the beds and 25 percent of the ventilators could be used for new patients.