The government has decided to shut its borders until coming September 16, considering the increasing spread of Corona Virus in the country. The decision was taken by the Monday meeting of the Council of Ministers, according to information shared by Minister for Communications and Information Technology Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada.
Speaking at a press meet held to share the decisions of the cabinet, government spokesperson Dr Khatiwada said a decision was also taken to allow Nepali citizens to return home through the land route only from the designated check points. However, transportation of goods will continue as usual.
Likewise, the government decided to annul its earlier decision to allow long-distance public transportation service from August 17, and make it applicable only from September 1. Furthermore, restaurants and hotels will now be allowed only to run take-away service.
Direction to work via electronic medium
The government has directed all government and non-government offices, cooperatives, micro-finances, NGOs and others to make arrangements to work from home via electronic media. Such direction is made to the districts having more than 200 infection and the Kathmandu Valley.
Less than fifty per cent staffs can attend the office for works at such offices. The concerned office chiefs are urged to make arrangement for their employees to work from home. In case of the offices which can not execute works from home, decision to halt their works would be taken by the concerned district office on COVID-19 management.
Everyone is prohibited to conduct meeting, review, seminar, discussion and gathering. The secretary of the concerned ministries will prepare and implement the work plan to continue basic works maintaining health safety and human resources.
Similarly, gathering at religious places has been prohibited.
Minister Khatiwada shared that the suppliers, workers and other concerned persons should maintain social distancing and use health safety measures while delivering and supplying the essential goods. He added that public gathering forum, meetings seminar, rally, party palace, exhibition, swimming pools, library, museum, zoo, parks, among other such kinds of activities are banned unless another notice.
Similarly, the government has made mandatory rules of taking permissions from respective districts and crisis management centers for inter-district movements where there are more than 200 active cases. It applies to and from Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts as well.
Likewise, vending shops, footpath shops and other street business are totally banned. The entrepreneurs who were mobilizing the workers in construction and other production related tasks should maintain social distancing and adopt health safety protocols with proper arrangement of their stay inside factory and workplace premises.
The government has also instructed entrepreneurs to run their enterprises observing precaution against COVID-19.
For those workers and labourers involved various construction related projects, the industrialists and entrepreneurs were asked to make sure that their employers/workers stay in a designated area (within a certain premise) and adhere to the safety measures against the deadly infection.
Furthermore, the meeting also directed the concerned ones to arrange quarantine and isolation facilities in the respective premises of the industries and enterprises for the contingency.
Permit for evacuating 500 Nepalis stranded abroad on a daily basis
The meeting of the cabinet has permitted evacuation of stranded Nepalis abroad not exceeding 500 in number on a daily basis.
The Minister shared, “Those rescued to Nepal on priority basis would be quarantined upon their arrival in Kathmandu Valley and they will be sent their homes once confirmed of not being infected with COVID-19.”
The Ministry of Health and Population will make sure that the rescued Nepalis compulsorily undergo the COVID-19 test within four or five days of their arrival to Nepal.
The decision also included further strengthening the health services delivery by ensuring adequate supply of medicines and deployment of health workers in the places with high risk of COVID-19 and those places already witnessing COVID-19 cases.