KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 16
Nepali Congress COVID-19 Monitoring Committee today issued a press release saying that the government had failed miserably in its efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee led by Joint General Secretary Prakash Sharan Mahat submitted its report to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba today.
Stating that the government was directionless even when human and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were deepening, the NC demanded that special session of the Parliament be convened to discuss the issue.
The committee urged the government to arrange adequate number of isolation beds, ICUs and ventilators to treat COV- ID-19 patients. It also asked the government to stop black marketing of urgent medicines. The NC urged the government to ramp up PCR testing, arrange isolation beds for those who cannot isolate themselves in their houses and provide affordable care to all COVID-19 patients. Stating that movement of a large number of people during Dashain and Tihar festivals could spike COVID-19 infection in villages, the NC urged the government to sensitise people to health safety measures and to make appropriate health safety arrangements in public transport vehicles.
The main opposition party also urged the government to directly transfer money to poor people keeping in mind their needs during Dashain and other festivals.
The main opposition party also demanded that the government bring a practical work plan to address the issues of education sector and to help Nepali workers who were working in foreign countries but wanted to return home.
The NC said the country’s economy was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and people had lost jobs and income but the government did nothing to ameliorate the situation mainly because the government was indifferent towards people’s sufferings and it was plagued by factional feud both at the central and provincial levels.
The NC said the government had failed to arrange isolation beds, increase testing, trace contacts of COVID-19 infected people and treat the infected people.
It added that government ministers adopted a strategy to award procurement tender to their favourite businessmen.
The NC condemned the government for allowing public vehicles to carry passengers in all seats but did not enforce health safety measures.
The main opposition party said the government had failed to provide adequate funds to the lower tiers of the government to help fight the pandemic.
It said the government was not willing to accept help offered by neighbouring countries to contain the pandemic. Stating that three million people lost jobs due to the pandemic, the NC said there was a real risk of people dying of hunger. The NC said 700,000 Nepali workers working in foreign countries wanted to return home but the government had no plan to bring home even 10 per cent of them.
The NC said the government was neither offering any help to farmers to sell their produces nor was it making seeds and fertilisers available in the market for farmers.
The government has not provided any kind of relief to industries and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 400,000 small and medium size enterprises have gone out of business but the government has not brought any plan to revive the economy and create employment opportunities within the country.
The NC said the federal government’s failure to provide adequate resources to local levels to fight the pandemic was also responsible for aggravated impact of the pandemic.
The party said the government had not formulated any reliable strategy to fight coronavirus in Kathmandu, the largest city in the country which is becoming a new COVID hotspot.
The party said the government’s decision to designate all government hospitals as COV- ID-19 hospitals would adversely impact people suffering from non-COVID illnesses.
The NC said the government did not formulate any plan to manage the education sector as a result of which Grade XII students were facing the risk of losing their academic year.
A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.