KATHMANDU, March 27: As the country remains under complete lockdown, the major cities and public places including Pashupatinath temple which are usually bustling with people have worn a deserted look.
Only a few permitted vehicles are seen plying on the streets, shops and stores are closed, all the private and public offices except “essential ones” have shut down and temples, churches and other religious places have emptied.
Pashupatinath temple generally receives thousands of visitors every day. Most of them are Hindu devotees from Nepal and India. But, due to the lockdown, only a very few people attending the funeral were seen in the temple.
Two days before the lockdown was announced, the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust had suspended the special worship owing to the virus fears but regular worship was conducted as usual. It came after the government forbade the gathering of more than 25 people to prevent the possible outbreak.
The government on March 23 — hours after the health authorities confirmed that a 19-year-old girl who had returned from France on March 17 had tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s second case – announced a nationwide lockdown for a week to prevent the spread of the virus.
Nepal has confirmed three cases of coronavirus. A 32-year-old man from Dhading who returned to Kathmandu from the United Arab Emirates on March 19 was also tested positive for the virus. The first case was reported on January 24 on a student from Wuhan who had traveled to Nepal on holiday. He recovered but the two other patients are receiving treatment at the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku.
Here are some photos of the Pashupatinath temple area our photographer Mukunda Kalikote captured.