Nepal imposes two-week lockdown in Kathmandu valley as Covid cases surge

Kathmandu, Apr 27 (efe-epa).- The government of Nepal are set to impose a two-week lockdown in the Kathmandu valley from Thursday as coronavirus cases have been surging in the country, officials told EFE on Tuesday.

The restrictions, initially imposed by local authorities for a week but soon extended by the government, will take effect from Thursday morning, Kathmandu district chief Kali Prasad Parajuli told EFE.

Apart from the capital, the valley consists of the nearby cities of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

“The coronavirus is spreading rampantly throughout the country. Health facilities designated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients have already been running at their full capacity,” Krishna Prasad Paudel, the director of the government division for epidemiology and disease control, told EFE.

“The prohibitory orders have been enforced as an immediate measure is required to break the virus transmission chain,” he added.

Domestic and international flights would not be affected by the lockdown, while foreign tourists would have to observe a mandatory 10-day quarantine, the spokesperson for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, Raj Kumar Chettri, told EFE.

The Himalayan country registered 4,364 fresh infections and 18 deaths within the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 307,925, according to health ministry data.

A large part of the new cases have been reported from the Kathmandu valley, where 1,966 fresh infections were registered within the past 24 hours.

Nepal has witnessed a rapid increase in infections in recent days, with daily caseload going up from nearly 460 on Apr. 13 to around 1,600 on Apr. 20.

On of the concerns being faced by the Nepali authorities is that hundreds of Nepalis may have contracted the Indian variant of the virus, which is suspected to be more contagious. EFE-EPA


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