Review Nepal News

Government should not isolate from the responsibilities
  Kathmandu, Nepal      August 27 2020

The country has plunged into another phase of lockdown though it is named differently as restrictions after coronavirus infection spread in the community level. Though the restriction or prohibited order is now imposed in 44 districts including the Kathmandu valley, whole the activities of the country including the daily life of the general public are badly affected. As the government had authorized the district administrators to take measures to control the spread of coronavirus, chief district officers have issued stern restrictive measures in some districts, cities and municipalities which were identified as red zones since last month. Tough the restriction or prohibited order is not called lockdown as of earlier and imposed by the district administrator, the people are compelled to face the similar fate that they had faced during the four months long lockdown. There is no situation to criticize the government for shifting authorities to the local administrators to take decisions to control the spread of coronavirus even though the continuation of halt in the activities has pushed the country to the brink of chaos manifesting in physical, psychological and economic consequences for the masses. The widespread fret of now is that the government, which has pushed the country at this extent due to its failure to adopt strategy to increase community testing to trace, isolate and quarantine the susceptible cases to prevent people from exposure to the disease, is now pretending to have isolated from the responsibilities.   

Daily records of coronavirus infection in recent past few days have left a clear sign that infection cases could cross the 90,000 mark as estimated by the Ministry of Health and Population. As the country has recorded 32,678 coronavirus infection cases by Monday and the single day spike are breaking the records in terms of infection and death in recent days, there would be a disastrous situation if the virus remained for two years as estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO).  The estimate of the disruption strategy that 81 percent of the population of the country would be infected by the end of the year and the peak of which would occur between June and September has reflected into reality. None of the sectors of the country has remained unaffected by the adverse effects of global pandemic, coronavirus. The estimate of the disruption strategy in terms of fatalities is that death toll due to the infection of coronavirus would stand 15,800 to 49,200 by year end. The estimate would not remain far behind as number of death toll is also spiking in recent days to reach the toll into 157 by Monday.  Even though no one can predict the exact impact and extent of the pandemic, the estimate reports and the current stands of the coronavirus impacts in Nepal has left a clear sign that the country would plunge into another form of disaster if the country failed to adopt the necessary strategy from containing the spread of virus to revamping the economy on time in the effective manner.   

Considering to the rapid spread of coronavirus in the community level, the government has to realize first here that virus cannot be taken into a hold in the community without any effective contact tracing to break the transmission chain. The government had already committed blunder by imposing the nationwide lockdown in haste and lifted without any planning. As the continuation of the restriction and prohibited order for an indefinite period is neither possible nor solve the overall effects of the pandemic, authorities should not delay to devise short, medium and long-term strategies not only to contain the virus and to save the lives of the people but also to revamp the economic activities in the country. As significant pressures have already emerged in the country, the government should not repeat the same errors over and over again.  The first and foremost thing to do now is treatment of the patients. As the current healthcare capacities proved insufficient, the government should not delay to increasing ICU beds with ventilator facilities in all the major cities even utilizing the facilities of all the private and community hospitals for the treatment of all symptomatic coronavirus patients but not the serious one. The first and foremost thing to realize by the government is that responsibilities towards the public can not be isolated by granting discretionary powers to the district administrations to take necessary steps to impose restrictions or prohibited order on the name of containing the spread of coronavirus.