‘Worry about containing COVID-19, not expenditure’

KATHMANDU, June 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has asked the lawmakers to worry about the prevention of the COVID-19 rather than on the expenses on the prevention, control and treatment of coronavirus.

“I do not claim that the amount might not have been misused anywhere and I do not see there is situation to doubt this as well. Let us not worry about the expenditure made in the prevention, control and treatment of coronavirus now, but worry about containing COVID-19,” the prime minister said responding a question regarding the misuse of funds in the name of containing COVID-19 pandemic.

The PM also reiterated “zero tolerance” to corruption in a situation of national crisis and global pandemic and vowed to bring anyone involved in such misappropriation in the ambit of action.

“Let’s not worry about misuse of funds set aside for fighting the pandemic. Transparency will be maintained on the expenditure being made at present in that connection and the Office of the Auditor General would be making an oversight on it,” he said.

Stating that more than 85 per cent among the people with COVID-19 in the country were India-returnees, PM Oli said although some mismanagement was seen as tests for coronavirus had to be carried out on a large number of people, efforts were being made to bring improvements in the management.

“222,614 Nepalis have returned home from India so far immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19 there. Around 5,000 are returning daily at present. 160, 775 are in quarantine,” he said, adding that problems were faced as a large number of people had to be kept in quarantine and PCR tests conducted on them.

Nepal has confirmed 4,085 infections and 15 deaths so far. As many as 584 patients have returned home after recovery.

“Those deceased died because they were very sick and suffering from several other ailments besides COVID-19.”

“The number of people recovering was heartening compared to the number of casualties.”

“The number of the infected and the fatalities from COVID-19 will be fewer in comparison to other countries in the coming days since the Nepalis have better immunity and treatment arrangements,” he added.

According to him, 5,000 tests are being carried out daily at present and the government has been working vigorously on the use of new technology.

“So far more than 106 thousand people have been tested using the PCR technology and the quarantine capacity has been expanded to 235 thousand 596. There are 8033 general beds and 900 ventilators in the government and private sector health facilities. Similarly, there are 1,700 ICU in 194 hospitals,” he said.