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Confirmed Covid19 cases reach 14 

The total number of Covid19 cases in Nepal has reached 14 with the confirmation of two new cases on Monday. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, a 19-year-old boy from Rautahat and a 65-year-old woman from Kailali were tested positive. Both of them were in quarantine facilities on suspicion of infections.

MoHP spokesperson Bikash Devokta said that both the patients were in quarantine before they tested positive. He said that the boy had returned from India while the woman, who was running a tea shop in Birgunj, had gone to Lamki in Kailali after the lockdown began. The confirmation comes just a day after three Indian nationals taking refuge at a mosque were tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, three people from a single family residing in Suncity Apartments, Pepsicola, have been admitted to Patan Hospital after they tested positive for the virus based on rapid tests. Their throat swabs have been sent to the National Public Health Laboratory for further confirmation.

Suspected people test negative in Birgunj

At least 59 people who were in contact with three Covid19 patients at a mosque in Birgunj have tested negative for the virus, according to MoHP. Their samples are being sent to a lab for further testing although no virus was detected during rapid testing.

On Sunday, three Indian nationals who were taking shelter with 18 others at Jame Mosque in Chhapkaiya, Birgunj, tested positive for the virus. Authorities are still searching for people who may have been in contact with them in recent weeks.

6T strategy against Covid19 

Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal on Monday said that the government was taking what he described as the 6T measure to combat the Covid19 pandemic: travel restriction, testing, tracing, tracking, treatment and togetherness.

“We have been revising and reviewing our strategy based on new developments in this pandemic,” Dhakal said in a statement issued on Monday.

He added that the government would come up with new measures if existing measures prove ineffective in the coming days. Dhakal’s statement comes at a time when the government is facing criticism for not doing enough testing. The government has tested a total of approximately 11,000 people as of Monday.

More promises from PM  

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday said that the government will provide a social security net to people and businesses affected by the Covid19 pandemic. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the Nepali new year BS 2077 on Monday, Oli said that the government would soon roll out measures to provide succour to the poor, jobless and businesses bearing the brunt of an economic meltdown caused by the pandemic.

“The government will take care of everyone in need of help,” said Oli.

According to Oli, Covid19 has come as a lesson to invest more on public health and to create more employment opportunities at home. PM Oli also said that his government was carefully weighing the situation before taking any decision on the lockdown. Monday’s address was Oli’s third address in a month.

RJPN calls for national consensus 

The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal has called for a broader consensus to tackle a host of issues facing the nation. In a statement issued on Monday, RJPN said that a national consensus was becoming even more necessary in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.

RJPN, the fourth largest party in the federal parliament and a coalition partner in Province 2, is the latest political party to call for a national consensus. Earlier, Nepali Congress and some leaders from the ruling Nepal Communist Party had proposed to form an all-party mechanism for Covid19 response. But Prime Minister KP Oli has repeatedly dismissed this remarks.

“There is no need for such a mechanism when the government is already doing its job properly to contain the pandemic,” Oli said.

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