An ambulance deployed at quarantine. (File photo/RSS)
KATHMANDU: The government has decided to keep a total of 1,939 ambulances on standby for a contingency that may occur in course of prevention and control of COVID-19 in the country.
The meeting of the High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 formed under the convenorship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwor Pokharel here today took the decision to this effect.
According to Secretary of the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Narayan Prasad Bidari, the meeting also decided to strictly prevent the traffic and human movement during the lockdown. However, the supply of essential services would be ensured for the citizens.
Reviewing the steps taken by the government to control the outbreak of the deadly infection, the meeting also decided to continue procuring medical appliances through open competition via the Department of Health.
In addition to that, Nepal Army would be roped in for bringing in the necessary medical goods in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population and through the government-to-government channels. Efforts would be continued to receive such materials from foreign diplomatic missions.
The meeting also decided to task the National Planning Commission to assess the impact of the COVID-19 on normal lives as well as the economy of the country. The country has gone into nation-wide lockdown since March 24 to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Likewise, the meeting decided to bar the operation of all international commercial flights to and from Nepal until April 30. Earlier, a restriction was imposed on all international flights as of April 15.
Collection of nasal and throat swab of the COVID-19 suspects in Kailali, Kanchanpur and Baglung district would be accelerated, the meeting decided. The meeting also instructed all the concerned agencies to put in place the test of COVID-19 in the districts as Doti, Accham and Jumla.
Over 100,000 hardest hit provided relief materials
The government has provided relief supplies, mainly the food items, to a total of 114,316 people across the country who bore the brunt of the lockdown, secretary Bidari shared. Most of them are daily wagers and from impoverished communities.
Similarly, a total of 30,506 foreign returnee Nepalis were currently kept in quarantine in various places of the country. Also, 2,235 vehicles violating the lockdown were booked since the lockdown.