The novel coronavirus has now spread to several nations of the world. The highly contagious virus, now known as COVID-19, has taken several nations in its grip. China, where the virus originated, South Korea, Iran and Italy are the worst hit places where the death toll from the virus and the number of people suffering from the virus affliction has jumped to many folds. With the virus becoming a threat all over the world, many nations have taken strong precautions against it. Several of them have put many cities and towns in a lockdown to stop the virus from spreading, while nations all over the world have put on hold the flights and other connectivity to and from China and the nations that are worst hit by the virus.
Back home, even as 175 evacuees from Wuhan of China, who have been kept in quarantine, are awaiting their swab report to go home, the concerned authority and the government appeared languid in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19. But after the mounting pressure from the several quarters, the government has now appeared to have woken up from its slumber. It has formed a high level panel headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokhrel and another implementation committee under the coordination of the chief secretary. The committees will give their suggestions on precautionary measures to stop the threat of COVID-19 in the country.
The formation of two bodies under the chair of Deputy PM Pokhrel and chief secretary is a highly positive move on the part of the government to tackle the challenges of the dreaded virus before it strikes the nation. Our nation that lacks enough resources and technical hands to fight the threat of a dangerous virus must remain on a high alert to thwart the onset of any epidemic through precautionary measures. Given the serious danger posed by dreaded COVID-19, which has already pulverised resourceful nations like China and South Korea, one can only imagine about the future pathetic scenario in the country if and when the virus strikes here. Luckily, no Nepali citizen has so far lost life to the virus.
Let us hope that the formation of the two committees would help put in place all timely measures to handle the threats of the dreadful virus before it strikes the resource and cash-strapped nation. As the virus is seen spreading its tentacles across the globe, experts suggest the authority here urgently require to strictly screening all foreigners entering Nepal. Distribution of masks and conducting awareness campaigns against the virus on a wider scale are other ways to stop the virus from taking its toll in the nation. Eschewing going to crowded or public places and going near the people showing flu like symptoms, washing hands with soaps several times a day are other ways to keep the virus in check. Likewise, the country should create more isolation and special ICU wards for treating those who are afflicted with the virus. This is really high time our government gave utmost attention towards responding to the challenges of COVID-19. The formation of two committees came in the nick of time, for which the government deserves our kudos.