Kathmandu, The authorities in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley on Tuesday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by seven more days as the South Asian country is facing rising COVID-19 cases in recent days.
As decided jointly by the Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts in the valley, the lockdown will be extended once again from Thursday till Aug. 11 by continuing almost all the relaxations in restrictive measures made in past weeks.
Under the new rules, in-person seminars or training programs are banned, a reversal of a previous decision allowing such activities with the presence of no more than 25 people.
“We extended the lockdown but have not increased restrictions much despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases,” Kali Prasad Parajuli, chief district officer of Kathmandu, told Xinhua. “But we have increased vigilance against violation of the prohibitory orders and taken steps to enforce the prohibitory orders strictly from Tuesday.”
He said the authorities are not taking drastic actions immediately as people’s life is returning to normalcy to some extent only in recent days amid the prolonged lockdown.
The Kathmandu Valley and many parts of Nepal went into lockdown in late April to check the second wave of the coronavirus, and the current lockdown runs till Wednesday midnight.
“People also need to queue up to take COVID-19 vaccine jabs and we should not act in a way that affects the vaccination drive,” said Parajuli.
Since Nepal first imposed lockdown in March last year during the first wave of COVID-19, some 660,000 people have been fined for violating the prohibitory orders, according to the District Administration Office of Kathmandu.
The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 2,448 new COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths had been reported in Nepal in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed cases to 702,097 and the death toll to 9,922.