Wednesday, 19 May, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Virus Variant Raises Alarm



The detection of new variant of coronavirus has sounded alarm bells in the country. With the detection, the cases of coronavirus affliction in the country have jumped up in recent days. Some people returning from India have been detected with the UK variant of the coronavirus while a few school kids too have also been found suffering from the symptoms of the same variant. All these have become a serious cause of concern for the government, which is carrying out different strategies to contain the virus. With an increase in the cases, our authority has voiced concerns over the people's growing indifference towards recommended health safety measures, which is a major reason behind the rise in the new variant cases.

Additional actions are needed to stop the spread of the new variant, which entered Nepal from India. Our people, who have now grown accustomed to the coronavirus, have however appeared to be unconcerned about the health hazards presented by the new variant which appears to be fatal and more infectious than the earlier one. Increasing incidents of new variants have necessitated the Health Ministry to ask the people and organisations to pursue health safety protocols so that the new variant would not turn fatal to the people's health. Our government is seeking advice from the concerned bodies intending to contain the spread of the new virus variant in the country. The government spokesperson the other day affirmed that a thorough plan to curb the new variant would be put in place after consulting with concerned parties and the departments. He, however, advised people not to get involved in guessing and concerning the new lockdown and prohibitory orders.

It occurs that the government has not yet considered imposing lockdown and restrictive orders as it had done earlier. The lockdown and closures, as were evident earlier, would be hurtful and unfavourable to the nation's economy and people's livelihoods. Our business and economy have suffered their worst in decades after imposing prolonged lockdown and restrictive orders following the outbreak of the pandemic. The mutation in the coronavirus, which has now given rise to the UK variant of the virus, has called for caution, health safety protocols and all steps to fight it.

Because of the current variant's contagious nature, the ministry has advised the people and the organisations not to have gatherings or congregate in large numbers. It has also advised to shut schools, colleges, cinema halls, night time restaurants, and other activities. Given the contagious nature and fatality rate of new variant, our authority should heed some of the advice offered by the Health Ministry, where experts are analysing the new variant. Also, the authority should put in place a strong virus test structure at every Nepal-India border point from where people are entering Nepal. Works to set up quarantines and conducting tracing and tests should be carried out so that the people with the coronavirus would be spotted before they pass the virus to others. Our authority must act early and thoughtfully so that the new variant of the virus would not turn fatal for the masses.