Lies again: Two days after lying to the CNN about Nepal’s Covid status, PM Oli made another false claim in the federal parliament

Ashim Neupane

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The day when Nepal recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 deaths, and thousands of infected were waiting for treatment as hospitals are already overwhelmed, PM made yet another false claim at parliament

Kathmandu: At a time when the government is failing to contain the spread of the pandemic, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday lied to the people and the country in his address to the lower house of federal parliament–the House of Representatives–about the health resources of the country. 

While seeking the vote of confidence, PM Oli lied about the number of ICUs and ventilators that the country currently has, even as Covid-19 patients are  dying without getting proper medical care and vital support, as the country’s hospitals are reeling under massive shortage of ICU beds, ventilators and oxygen.

While addressing the House of Representatives (HoR), PM Oli claimed that our health system has 3,000 ICU and 1,100 ventilator beds. 

The data of the Ministry of Health and Population disproves. It shows the country only has 1,423 ICUs and 583 ventilator beds. 

What seems like a complete lie comes two days after he lied to the global community claiming that the Covid-19 situation is “under control” in Nepal. In his interview with American TV channel CNN, Oli had said, “the Covid-19 situation in Nepal is under control.”

“This government has added 1,700 ICU beds and 550 ventilators,” the PM said while addressing parliament on Monday. 

Although hospitals across the country have not been able to admit new patients as they have run out of beds, PM Oli also claimed that the number of Covid-19 patients is high only in a few places. “There are beds to admit new Covid-19 patients,” he added.

At least four hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley have already said that they are unable to admit new patients due to shortage of oxygen supplies and lack of beds.

Even though he was claiming that his government controlled the pandemic, data released by the Health Ministry showed that the Covid-19 positivity rate stood at a staggering 51 percent. It means, in every 100 tests, 51 persons tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Despite Oli’s claim, the Health Ministry, more than a week ago, had claimed that the existing health resources of the country are unable to handle the pandemic, indicating the health system has already collapsed.

Two hours after PM’s statement, Nepal recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 death tally of 139. Likewise, Nepal reported 9,291 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours.

As there has been a massive rise of cases every day, the local administrations in the Kathmandu Valley have already decided to recommend to the Covid-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) to extend the prohibitory orders for additional 15 days.  Nearly 62 districts of the country, including the Kathmandu Valley, are under lockdown since April 29.