• 7 July, 2020 11:59 am

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The Lesson that government could not learn during Pandemic

The number of infected people from Pandemic COVID-19 has reached around 16 thousand.  Despite sufficient doubt of community transmission in densely populated human settlements like Kathmandu Valley including others and the number of transmitted reaching to 10 thousand in one month, no change has been made in government’s strategy to face the pandemic. We can only guess the terrible climax of the crisis in the context of government’s style in the initial phase he pandemic that started in the month of April/March.

Nepal had almost a 3-month long time to take precaution to fight against the pandemic, manage necessary medical equipment, appoint human resources, and buy medicine after the transmission of Corona Virus appeared in Wuhan, China in the month of December, 2018. However, the responsible figures in Nepal kept on claiming, it cannot be expanded in Nepal, it is simply a common cold and can be healed through sneezing and drinking hot water. 

As the virus took a universal shape while coming to 23 March, 2020, Nepal declared lockdown and suspended international flights.  This timely step taken by the government was the best intervention not to let the transmission getting increased. However, an obstructed movement continued for two weeks across Nepal India open boarder. The leadership confined inside Singh Durbar could not be careful in merely valley centered flight suspension could lessen the risk of Corona virus. Because of government’s weakness in this context, the transmission has been geometrically increasing in Nepal.

Lockdown is certainly the most effective means to prevent and control Corona Virus but if we study the countries with developing economy like the case of Nepal, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Germany, all can be found to be adopting the main strategy to carry laboratory test, test, and test. However, Nepal came to sense to purchase medical equipment after the 3rd/ 4rth positive cases or almost after 4 months period of the expansion of the Pandemic in China. Due to the vested interest of some of the responsible personalities of the government expensive but low-quality medical equipment was imported. It’s a misfortune for all of us that Nepal government did not make any formal request for the support despite neighboring countries including China were ready to support Nepal free of cost. As a result, the Pandemic of Corona became a golden opportunity for limited individuals to make a plunder over national treasure.

The claim of health minister to carry 10 thousand tests everyday has turned futile. Samples are being piled in government’s laboratories. A sober citizen has to wait at least 7 to 10 days for the report to come. Due to the reason of extreme mismanagement in the quarantines, the number of casualties is increasing day by day.  A person tested negative during the collection of swabs might be transmitted while the report comes.  Moreover, the risk is unexpected from hundreds of those who are sent back to their houses without testing their swab.

The increasing deaths of quarantine returnees and positive reports declared after the death have clarified the fact. However, the government seems to be uninformed about this truth. Moreover, the formulation of rules to let people go back to the house even without getting tested under the name of health protocol is quite strange issue. The government has only weapon to fight against current tendency, that is carrying more and more tests. To increase the strength of test there is shortage of essential kits and human resource in government run hospitals. In this state the government must collaborate with private sector. But, the other misfortune with us is that the government that claims to be moving forth towards the course of socialism is intending to handover the natural rights of a citizen to get medical treatment to private business houses. Despite government’s discount in customs and revenue for years to the private organizations working to make profit, the private sector did not pay any attention towards government’s request.

Still we have time. The government should bring private sectors to make them fulfill social responsibility.  General public expects government’s presence during crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to timely formulate policy and strategy and materialize them into practice to fight against the possible climax of crisis that may come soon than giving melodious lecture for social consumption.

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