Kathmandu: At a time when Covid cases are escalating, the Government of Nepal itself is found breaching the Covid protocol making mockery of the rule of law.
In most of the events organized by the government in the recent weeks, the government has flouted the ban on the gatherings of more than 25 people. At present, every individual has to strictly abide by the health safety protocols, but the government itself is acting in an irresponsible manner ignoring the impending health crisis in the country.
Following the footsteps of the government, the locals of the Kathmandu valley are also not abiding by the health safety measures and participating in the jatras. It is evident that both the general public and the government have not learnt anything from the first wave of the coronavirus.
Here are the series of events when the government was seen flouting COVID safety guidelines:
Meeting of CPN-UML’s general convention committee
On April 23, a meeting at PM’s official residence in Baluwatar witnessed a large number of people violating the health safety measures. Almost all the leaders attending the meeting were seen not obliging by the safety measures issued by the government. The meeting formed a 19-member standing committee.
Establishment Day of Communist Party
On April 22 marking the 72 Establishment Day of the Communist Party, PM KP Sharma Oli along with many other party leaders, laid the foundation stone of CPN-UML’s new party office building in Madanagar, Balkhu. Here also the government failed to abide by the COVID safety guidelines. Hundreds of people attended the event without maintaining social distancing.
Puja at Baluwatar
The day after the Cabinet banned gatherings of more than 25 people, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli organized puja inviting hundreds of people to his residence in Baluwatar and offered prayers to the idols of lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. The idols were later sent it to Ayodhyapuri in Madi of Chitwan. Those who participated in the puja Baluwatar were not found adopting any health safety measures.
Idol installation in Ayodhyapuri
In sheer violation of health safety guidelines, idol installation ceremony in Ayodhayapuri saw a large number of devotees, along with key-profile officials of the government. Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation Bhanubhakta Dhakal, Chief Minister of Bagmati Province Dormani Poudel and many others also attended the ceremony. And none of the Covid protocols were followed in the ceremony.
Defending the government decision to organize the program, Minister Dhakal, in one of the interviews, said, the event in Ayodhyapuri was not against the guidelines as the event was organized before the guidelines were published in Nepal gazette.
Health experts irked by government behaviour
Health experts have expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the present situation.
Sameer Mani Dixit, a public health expert and director of Research at Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, said that irresponsible and insensitive move of the leadership can lead to a grave situation in the country. “If the government continues such acts, it will lose the moral grounds to make people follow the health safety measures and the people will be more careless even in the face of huge health crisis.
He urged the government to be sensitive and more responsible in dealing with the pandemic situation. “There is a greater need for the government to lead by example and contain the spread of the virus,” Dixit added.
‘Government abusing power’
Political analyst Deepak Gajurel said that the government was abusing power by organizing various events without following health safety protocols. “People in the power have developed the mindset that they can do whatever they want,” Gajurel informed.