Nepal lifts Covid restrictions as cases dwindle

Kathmandu, March 4 (EFE).- Nepal on Friday announced the withdrawal of all Covid-19 related restrictions in the most-populated Kathmandu valley, effective from Saturday, following a drop in the cases of the coronavirus, while other areas are also expected to follow suit.

The chief district officer of the Lalitpur district, Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, told EFE that all political, economic, social, educational, and other activities have now been fully allowed.

“As the Covid-19 cases have dropped, there is no need to restrict the activities anymore,” said Upadhayaya, although adding that “people have to abide by basic health protocols like wearing masks until the case come down to zero level.”

The Kathmandu valley consists of three major districts of the country: Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. Officials said that other areas might also lift restrictions soon.

According to health ministry data, on Friday the number of fresh Covid-19 cases had dropped to 126, compared to the peak of 12,300 daily infections during the latest wave of the pandemic, recorded on Jan. 20.

Raja Ram Giri, the coordinator of the tourism revival committee formed by the Nepalese tourism ministry, told EFE that they have recommended the government to remove the requirement to carry a negative RT-PCR test before boarding flights to Nepal.

“The government is positive and may soon take the decision to this effect soon,” he insisted.

Nepal had issued its first nationwide lockdown on Mar. 24, 2020, which was lifted on July 21 that year.

The country was forced to announce a second lockdown on Apr. 2021 as a deadly second wave wreaked havoc, with the stay-home orders finally being lifted after four months on Sep. 1.

Earlier this year, restrictions were reimposed as the Omicron variant entered the country, but a full-fledged lockdown was avoided.

Nepal, with a population of 29.19 million, has registered over 1.11 million infections throughout the pandemic. The countrywide death toll has reached 11,945 since the pandemic began. EFE


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