Thursday, 18 July, 2024

‘Health Ministry not in favour of immediately enforcing lockdown’


Kathmandu, Jan 18: The Ministry of Health and Population has clarified that it was not in favour of immediately enforcing lockdown in the country.

In a meeting of the House of Representatives (HOR)’s Education and Health Committee held on Tuesday, Health Secretary Dr. Roshan Pokharel said the ministry was against the lockdown. He further said the ministry was sensitive in not putting the battling economy in trouble due to lockdown. “If any sector is deemed to be shut, we will take the necessary decision and resume the sectors after two-three weeks”.

Secretary Pokharel said vaccination management has witnessed some complications due to the closure of schools when inoculation drive targeting below 12-year children was underway. He informed that the vaccines meant for Terai region could not be administered there some days ago due to cold waves and foggy weather so they were brought back to Bhaktapur and administered accordingly.

On the occasion, Minister of State for Health and Population Bhawani Prasad Khapung said a challenge surfaced in speeding up the task due to inadequate coordination between the province and local levels. The data accuracy has also been found to be a problem in some areas, he added.

Committee member Man Bahadur Biswokarma urged the government to expedite the campaign of inoculating vaccines to the citizens against the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Likewise, another committee member Yogesh Bhattarai said vaccination service has not been provided to more than 150,000 a day though it was announced to inoculate 500,000 people every day.

Committee member Hit Bahadur Tamang accused the government of not being serious in expanding the vaccination center and human resources to adequately respond to the spread of the virus.

Another member Khagaraj Adhikari said the students pursuing MBBS can also be mobilized in treating the people after imparting necessary training.

Committee member Jeewan Ram Shrestha said infection has spread in communities when the citizens returning home via borders are being permitted to enter villages without screening.

Another committee member Bidhya Bhattarai asked the government to arrange inoculation services to the people with disability and the physically challenged at their doorstep.

Likewise, Chitralekha Yadav called for the government to initiate ‘Omicron weekly awareness campaign’ focusing on the rural population against the virus.