DAO Bhaktapur refuses to register complaint against former PM Oli on charge of helping to spread Covid infection

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The District Administration Office, Bhaktapur has refused to register a complaint against former Prime Minister and Chairman of main opposition CPN (UML) K P Sharma Oli on a charge of helping to spread the Covid-19 infection by participating in a crowd while he himself was tested positive of the Covid-19.

Abhijit Adhikari of Surya Binayak Municipality had reached the office with a complaint against Oli on Sunday claiming that Oli violated the Infectious Disease Control Act (1964), demanding action against him as per the provisions of the same Act.

Adhikari has accused Oli of participating in the program organized by Youth Association, the youth wing of UML, while he himself had tested positive for the coronavirus, which is taking a toll on the lives of Nepalis every day.  So far, over 11,000 people have succumbed to this highly contagious disease which spreads quickly and is said to infect a large number of people if an infected person is exposed to the crowd. 

On Thursday, Oli had attended a public program organized by UML’s youth wing, only four days after testing positive for the coronavirus.  Oli had participated in the program with his wife, Radhika Shakya where social distancing was not maintained. 

The video showing Oli in the crowd had gone viral on social media inviting widespread criticisms saying that such carelessness could potentially help to spread the contagion even further.

The Infectious Disease Control Act has a provision that in case of the violation of the Act, the violators will be subjected to a month of imprisonment or Rs. 100 penalty or both. Those who obstruct the works of authorized persons under the Act will be subjected to six months imprisonment or Rs. 600 penalty or both, says the law.

Related: Nepal’s former prime minister appears in a public program four days after testing positive for coronavirus. Will the government hold him accountable?

Similarly, Criminal Code has a provision that a person helping to spread the disease can be subjected to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,00,000.

While he was the PM, Oli had earned notoriety for dismissing the deadly Covid-19 as the normal flu and he had been prescribing scientifically unproven home remedies such as turmeric water, guava leaf and gurjo while also publicly stating that one can get rid of the disease by sneezing it out. 

The former PM, who projected himself as the Covid denier in the past, was seen at the public program right after four days of being infected while the doctors have suggested that after testing positive a Covid patient needs to stay in isolation for at least seven days.

Correction: The earlier version of the story reported that a complaint was filed against ex-PM Oli. The error is regretted.