Nepal has reportedly extended the lockdown measure for at least a week to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease across the country. The decision was made post a cabinet meeting held by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at his residence. The government has extended the lockdown until April 7, which was due to lift by March 31, according to an agency report. A Government Coordination Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Ishwar Pokhrel, decided to keep the social distancing and lockdown measures in place in the initial stages of the outbreak.
Pokhrel told a news agency in a video statement, “This war (against COVID-19) is not solely of the central government or state mechanism. It is to be fought by people in a collective way. It is a war against the protagonist of human civilisation, prosperity and against the progress of human upliftment and development. To fight against it, unity among all is important. We all should go hand-in-hand. I request all the people from various backgrounds to come jointly against it.”
Nepal has recorded over nine cases of the novel coronavirus, and reportedly one patient has recovered from the disease. It has, however, imposed drastic measures for the containment of the deadly disease already. The committee led by Pokhrel had also made a decision to extend the ban that was imposed earlier on international air travel. The revised protocol banned the flights overseas until mid of April, as per the media reports. Nepal government had declared the total lockdown on March 24, after it detected the first COVID-19 patient, a 19-year-old France national that entered the country on Qatar flight. The tourist showed symptoms for flu and later tested positive to the coronavirus after he was quarantined for 14-days, confirmed media reports.