Nepal extends lockdown in Kathmandu Valley for 10 more days to contain COVID-19 pandemic

Nepal extends lockdown in Kathmandu Valley for 10 more days to contain COVID-19 pandemic

Jul 16, 2021

KATHMANDU, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The authorities in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley on Thursday decided to continue the ongoing lockdown till July 25 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but with further relaxation in the provisions of the prohibitory orders.
The last round of lockdown expires on Thursday midnight local time and the three districts in the valley decided to extend it by another 10 days starting from Friday.
"We decided to extend the lockdown as the COVID-19 cases have not come down drastically," Kali Prasad Parajuli, chief district officer of Kathmandu, told Xinhua. The Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts in the valley issued the same prohibitory orders.
As per the new notice, shops can open one more hour till 7 p.m. from Friday.
Likewise, rules are eased as well for vehicles entering the valley for emergency purposes, with travelers not asked to produce recommendation letters by local administrations any more, which are mandatory till Thursday midnight.
In recent weeks, the authorities in the Kathmandu Valley have been gradually easing the provisions of lockdown while extending it time and again from the starting date on April 29. On July 4, they lifted all the restrictive measures against public and private transportation services, and shops were allowed more operation hours.
Nepali officials said the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center has recommended the government to resume the long-distance public transportation service too.
"We have recently recommended the government to resume long-distance public transportation service, considering that the general lives of people have been badly affected by the prolonged suspension of such transportation service," Nurahari Khatiwada, the center's spokesman, told Xinhua.
"Specifically, people have been forced to pay much higher fares for hiring vehicles for emergency travels in the absence of regular public transportation service," he said.
Nepal has been gripped by a second wave of the coronavirus since early April, and daily cases in the South Asian country have remained between 1,500 and 2,000 in most of the last few days.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 1,782 new cases and 33 more deaths, bringing the total to 662,570 and the death toll to 9,463.
Source: Xinhau