Lockdown not ending anytime soon, says prime minister

coronavirus, Nepal lockdown

KATHMANDU, April 11: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Saturday said the government is not planning to end the nationwide lockdown anytime soon hinting the possible extension of nationwide lockdown.

Taking to chief ministers in a video conference, the prime minister warned against the risk of possible spread after the end of lockdown as the virus continues to spread in neighbor India, with which Nepal shares an open border.

Nepal has confirmed only nine cases of the COVID-19 so far, but in India, the cases have jumped to 7,600 with 249 deaths. To curb the pandemic, India is mulling to extend the 21-day lockdown which ends Tuesday.

The virus has infected 1,710,799 globally killing 103,513 people till April 11 since the outbreak in late December last year.

The nationwide lockdown — which was extended twice to prevent the spread of the pandemic– is ending on April 15.

Prime Minister Oli in the video conference clarified that maintaining social distance in the only choice to prevent the spread of the virus and stressed on tightening the border security measures.

“Knowing that the virus continues to spread in India, we could not end the lockdown… not anytime soon,” PM Oli said.

“We should tighten border security and cannot accept the carelessness. Each person should be aware of the possible spread of the virus,” he added.

“Lockdown is necessary not to trouble the people but to protect the people.”

He also advised the administrative bodies and police force to remain more alert to stop the gathering of people such as festivals.

The chief ministers had briefed the PM about the initiatives the provincial government had taken to control the pandemic during the meeting.

Photo: Prime Minister’s Press Advisor