Government to move ahead with development work despite lockdown
The government has decided to continue with development construction work although it has extended the lockdown till May 18 to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Government spokesman and Minister for Finance and Communications and Information Technology, Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, said this in a news conference organised at the Ministry while sharing about the decisions the Council of Ministers' meeting took on Wednesday.
He said the government has decided to extend the lockdown till the midnight of May 18, Monday, in view of the possibility of spread of the coronavirus. Learning from the experience of steps taken by neighbouring countries and other nations to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the government has decided to stop the movement of people across the international border transit points, the open border and via the international flights until midnight of May 31, Sunday, to keep all safe from the pandemic.
Extending hearty thanks to all Nepalis abiding by the stay-at-home orders announced to save the life of the people, the Council of Ministers urged them to follow the order in the coming days as well. It also decided to take legal action against those violating the lockdown orders.
However, the government will allow the production, sale and distribution of essential goods as medicines and health-related materials, food grains, agricultural and livestock products as well as industrial goods during the lockdown period.
Likewise, the government has decided to allow agricultural activities like cultivation, harvesting and livestock farming, the health-related activities and services, importation and transportation of essential goods, operation of vehicles carrying essential goods, industrial raw materials, water, agricultural produce, health-related supplies, drinking water, LPG, petroleum products and construction materials for development projects. Operation of minimum banking and financial institutions would also be permitted.
The Council of Ministers has stated that the afore-mentioned services would be permitted by following the required health safety protocols and through coordination with the Central COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre and the State-level COVID-19 Crisis Management Centres.
The COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre in the district concerned will give permission after assessing the risk situation.