KATHMANDU, June 12: Despite restriction on public gatherings, hundreds of youths participated in peaceful protests in different parts of the Kathmandu Valley on Friday as well, demanding government’s accountability on billions of rupees spent on the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The government has claimed to have already spent Rs 10 billion in the fight against the pandemic that has now spread to 72 districts infecting more than 5,000 people and killing 16, but has refused to furnish the details of the expenditure it has spent on response and preparedness to the COVID-19.
But the reality suggests otherwise. The quarantine facilities are in rather poor condition and have become the potential source of coronavirus infection and cause of patient’s deaths. The government has excessively relied on inaccurate rapid diagnostic tests instead of widening the polymerase chain reaction tests that are in short supply. And, the misappropriation of funds in the procurement of COVID-19 combat materials and medical supplies go uninvestigated.
Anti-government protests continued today as well as youths organizing rallies in Basantapur, Kirtipur, Pepsicola, Suryabinayak and other parts demanding the government increase PCR tests, safer quarantine facilities and furnish the details of Rs 10 billion it spent on COVID-19 response.
The protests have also flared other cities like Dhulikhel, Butwal, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Chitwan, Hetauda and Birjung while other protest programs are on schedule in the coming days.
Here are some pictures of anti-government protests organized in Bhaktapur and Pepsicola captured by Reporters’ Club Nepal photo journalist Mukunda Kalikote.