Nepal Extends Lockdown In Kathmandu Valley For 10 More Days


KATHMANDU– The authorities in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley, yesterday, decided to continue the ongoing lockdown till Jul 25, to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but with further relaxation in the prohibitory orders.

The last round of lockdown expires midnight last night, local time, and the three districts in the valley decided to extend it by another 10 days starting from today.

“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 7.00 p.m. from today.

Likewise, rules are eased as well, for vehicles entering the valley for emergency purposes, with travellers not asked to produce recommendation letters by local administrations any more, which are mandatory till yesterday 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 Apr 29. On Jul 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 Centre 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 centre’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 virus since early Apr, and daily cases in the country have remained between 1,500 and 2,000 in most of the last few days.

Yesterday, 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