KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Oli has said that the next two weeks can be tougher in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, PM Oli, however, said the government has made every effort to control the coronavirus pandemic considering the hardship faced by the Nepali people.
He labelled the current lockdown imposed by the government as ‘compulsion’ that has been aimed at ensuring that the coronavirus does not spread further.
“I can feel and understand that people are facing hardship now due to the lockdown,” he said adding that the government has no alternative than to enforce a lockdown despite knowing that people, especially the daily wage earners are undergoing hardship,” PM Oli said in his address.
This, perhaps, is the first time that our generation has undergone such a crisis, he said urging people to cooperate with the government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
PM Oli also urged one and all to remain safe by staying at home from what he called as ‘one of the greatest challenges’ of this generation while urging people to maintain physical distancing.
He said Nepal is in war against deadly coronavirus. “We are still at high risk,” he said adding that though Nepal has been successful to confine to only 9 such cases, PM Oli said, “I am aware of the fact that all sections of the society, including business people, students, daily wage earners, jail birds, among others are suffering at the moment.”
“I can easily feel how painful it is to be in isolation as I have also spent several years in the jail,” he said.
PM Oli urged people to refrain from leaving their houses to control the pandemic. “Those who have been staying in quarantines in India will be brought back to Nepal after the lockdown is over,” he said hoping that the black clouds of crisis will end soon.
“The next two weeks can be more difficult,” he said adding that the government is making every effort to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Saying that nothing can be more important than people’s lives, the government has endeavored to ensure that people do not have to undergo hardships.
“It is high time that all concerned came together to overcome the crisis,” PM Oli said while urging the media to refrain from attacking the government in a time of crisis. “I am well-aware of the media reports,” he said.
He also appreciated the medics, security personnel, and civil servants for the selfless service and contribution at this difficult time and situation despite limited resources.
“Precious lives of hundreds have been saved due to the prompt actions taken by the government,” said Oli, urging one and all to exercise patience and courage as Nepali people did during the blockade some five years ago.
Stating that nothing can be more important than the lives of people, Oli further said the government has made special arrangements to ensure the availability of the medical goods.
Meanwhile, he also defended the procurement of the medical supplies saying that the allegations on the issue as irregularities as baseless.
He said that the propaganda, which, he said has been spear-headed against the government, will not weaken the government’s commitment to refrain from indulging in corruption.
Similarly volunteers deployed in the treatment of the novel virus-affected will be provided Rs 1,500 as allowance, those health workers will be insured against the virus for Rs 2.5 million, said PM Oli.
“The government is committed for the security of all medical persons working day and night for the service of coronavirus-affected people and has arranged required medical equipment including the insurance of Rs 2.5 million for them,” added Oli.
PM Oli also informed that the federal government has joined hands with the local and provincial governments to prevent and contain the COVID-19 saying that the government has so far arranged quarantine facilities for 30,566 people across the country.
Likewise, he informed that the government has made an arrangement of 3,259 isolation beds. According to him, there are currently 9,168 people in quarantine.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister also urged all people returning from foreign countries, including India to stay in quarantine for at least 14 days.
He also extended his condolences to all Nepalis who lost their lives abroad because of coronavirus.