It is a matter of grave concern that Nepal has lately reported a considerable rise in the number of COVID-19 infections again. Hospitalisations as well as deaths associated with the killer virus have also begun increasing gradually. This is a clear indication of a resurgence of the global pandemic in the country. Virologists and other public health experts have warned of a worsening situation if the people fail to follow rigorous preventive measures immediately. With an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in many parts of India in recent times, Nepalis living there to study and work have started coming back home. Since Nepal and India share an open but unregulated border, a large number of Indians have also been entering the country. Considering the fact that those coming from India have become a carrier of the virus disease, the government has tried to tighten the border security to control the unnecessary movements of people. It has also installed health desks at different border points to help prevent the transmission of the disease.
Another worrying matter is that a ‘double mutant variant’ of COVID-19 has been detected in the Kathmandu Valley. Even children and youths have been found infected with the new variants. Despite this, every sector has remained open. Even schools and colleges have been running physical classes. However, in view of the possible further spread of the contagion, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has recommended that schools and colleges be closed at least for one month. This plan will materialise only after the Cabinet endorses it. The government seems to be committed to dealing with the pandemic as its primary duty is to protect the life of citizens. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the Nepali New Year 2078 B. S. on Wednesday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli wished happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepalis at home and abroad. The Premier also called on them to remain safe from the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far taken lives of more than 3,000 people in the country.
The Prime Minister added: "The government's first duty is to protect the life of citizens. The schools can operate if lives are saved. The economy can be run only if human lives are saved.” This shows that the government is ready to leave no stone unturned when it comes to saving the lives of people. It needs no mention that Nepal was able to contain the first wave of the coronavirus successfully as compared to many other countries across the world. However, the pandemic caused damage to the national economy and the economic growth rate dropped significantly. But the agriculture sector has helped reduce the trade deficit. Amidst the contagion, the government was able to bring some groups, including the Netra Bikram Chanda-led Maoist outfit, to the peace process.
With the renouncement of the path of violence by the group, there is now no any outfit carrying out violence in the country. The government has also made important achievements in the field of infrastructure development. It has also been conducting vaccination campaign against the COVID-19. As of now, more than 1.8 million people at home and abroad have received the much-needed jabs. Preparations are also being made to vaccinate the remaining population. Such efforts have definitely crated a lot of hope among people even in this critical phase.