The Weekend Leader - Nepal seals borders, announces funds

Nepal seals borders, announces funds

Kathmandu

23-March-2020

Nepal has sealed all the border entry points on both the northern and southern sides, and has also created a $4 million fund to fight the novel pandemic

The border restrictions came into effect at 10 a.m. (local time) on Monday and will last for a week, according to the decision taken in a meeting held at the Prime Minister's residence.

The government's decision comes amid heightened concerns after a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in India with whom Nepal shares an 1,800-km open border, The Himalayan Times said in a report.

The government has decided to mobilise a joint team of the army and police along the border to ensure effective curbs.

"We have taken this decision keeping in mind the fact that coronavirus spreads through the increased movement of people," said the spokesman for the government and the Minister of Finance, Communications and Information Technology Yubaraj Khatiwada at a press meet after the meeting.

"Imports and exports of goods will continue as usual," he added.

The government has also decided to make an initial contribution of $4 million to the fund created to procure logistics to be used for the treatment of the infected in case of an outbreak.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and all the ministers will contribute their one-month salaries to the fund.

"Anybody can contribute to the fund," The Himalayan times quoted Khatiwada as saying.

The government also decided to use Nepal Police hospitals exclusively for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The government also decided to intensify market monitoring to discourage black-marketing and anomalies in the market.

Nepal has so far rported only one confirmed coronavirus case, the lowest in the entire South Asian region. IANS


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