Negligible number of vehicles ply the streets of Kathmandu on Sunday. (Photo/Khabarhub)
KATHMANDU: More than 500,000 people have left the Kathmandu Valley in the last four days owing to the fear of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday has made room for the evacuation as the valley is declared to have closed most of the services but for the ‘essential’ ones.
According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the number of people leaving Kathmandu Valley for their hometown via Nagdhunga, Jagati, Pharping and Nagarjun checkpoints has increased significantly in the last two days.
The outflow from the valley has gone wildly since March 19 deserting the formerly busy streets. The streets of Kathmandu saw fewer vehicles from Sunday afternoon.
When 194 thousand people came to Kathmandu in the last three days, 130,000 people left the valley on Friday alone.
According to the police, 206,000 people left the valley on Saturday only. The Division said around 56,000 people have left the capital city on till Sunday afternoon alone.
As a curbing measure against COVID-19 spread, the government instructed for all educational institutions’ closure. To be tuned against the warding off campaign against corona, all public and private services but for the essential ones are suspended from Sunday.
Similarly, all long route travels are restricted to be effective from March 23 whereas all international air services are halted from March 22 to March 31.
Despite the fact that no corona transmission is noticed in Nepal lately, due to the precautionary ‘partial lockdown’ has triggered the number deserting the valley for their home towns in hills and plains.
According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police, 45,682 vehicles have brought 194,722 passengers to Kathmandu whereas 64,732 vehicles have taken 445,619 passengers outside the valley.
According to KMTP in-charge SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, 56,647 people have left on Sunday morning alone, when only 9000 people in-flowed to Kathmandu at the same time.
A large number of people have thronged the Old Bus Park, New Bus Park, Koteshwor and Kalanki areas early on Friday to leave Kathmandu Valley.
Meanwhile, buses and micro-buses plying in Kathmandu have begun to ferry passengers to various parts of the country as the government has been liberal on route permits.
Meanwhile, Jeevan Kumar Shrestha, Spokesperson at the Division, said that the number of people leaving Kathmandu Valley has increased as the examinations from class 1 to 9 has been completed and that the educational institutions have been shut down due to COVID-19 fears.
General Secretary of the Federation of Nepali Transport Entrepreneurs, Saroj Sitaula, has urged passengers traveling in public vehicles to use facemask mandatorily.