Govt likely to adopt tough measures to tackle COVID-19 « Khabarhub
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Govt likely to adopt tough measures to tackle COVID-19

18 March 2020  

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KATHMANDU: A high-level meeting is taking place at Singha Durbar today to minimize the possible risk of the coronavirus which has spread across the world.

The meeting to be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel will analyze the possible impact of the deadly novel virus and seek measures including a lockdown of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to preempt the further spread, according to sources.

“The meeting is taking place at 1 pm to discuss COVID-19,” said Narayan Prasad Bidari, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, adding, “We will make public the decisions once the meeting is over.”

The government is likely to announce additional restrictions or new tough measures including ‘lock-down’ of the TIA — country’s only international airport.

Deputy Prime Minister Pokharel, who also heads a high-level committee formed to ensure measures to control the spread of the virus, had earlier said the government can decide to go on lockdown if necessary in a bid to protect the country from the COVID-19 infection.

This means that the government is likely to suspend travelers from countries by imposing strict restrictions to combat coronavirus.

It is also working out plans to implement strict measures to control nonessential travels and mass gatherings.

The government has already announced several efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus to Nepal.

Meanwhile, as an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Nepal has temporarily suspended its on-arrival visas till the end of April for countries, including South Korea, China, Iran, Japan, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

Travelers transiting from these countries are required to produce a health certificate stating that they are not affected by COVID-19 along with their visa applications.

It has also canceled all spring mountaineering expeditions as precautionary steps.

The Nepal government, late Thursday night, decided to temporarily stop issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all countries and has put an end to all spring mountaineering expeditions, including Everest ascents.

The government of Nepal took the decision to this effect as the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Meanwhile, the TIA has earlier this week sought cooperation from the public to keep the airport safe as well as to generate awareness about the coronavirus.

It should be added that following the World Health Organization (WHO) alert over the possible spread of a coronavirus strain, Nepal’s Ministry of Health has set up a health desk and deputed medical doctor at the TIA.

Meanwhile, the fear over the spread of coronavirus has prompted sweeping cuts in the flights at the TIA with major international airline companies operating flights to and from the airport cutting their flights drastically.

According to Devendra KC, General Manager at the TIA, several international flights have been cut in recent days.

He informed that out of the 45 to 50 international flights that used to be operated daily, the number has decreased to less than 30 international flights now.

Publish Date : 18 March 2020 13:29 PM

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