After much agitation and protests, a three-member team led by Gopinath Mainali, Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, met Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopaedic surgeon, at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital yesterday.

Dr KC has been on a fast-unto-death protest since the last 24 days demanding reforms in the medical education sector. He had announced his hunger strike in Chandannath Municipality-6, of Jumla district on September 14, before being airlifted to Kathmandu owing to frail health. He has been continuing his peaceful hunger strike at the Maharajgunj-based TU Teaching Hospital.

“Secretary Mainali told Dr KC that the government is responsible to meet the demands made by him. The team also urged Dr KC to end the fast-unto-death strike in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr KC said that if there is an official committee formed to hold talks with him, he will sit for talks,” said Deepak Sharma, spokesperson at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, one of the team members who had visited Dr KC.

Earlier, medical students and resident doctors of TU Teaching Hospital had protested in and out of the hospital premises demanding that the government immediately form a committee to hold talks with Dr KC about his demands. They had urged the government to save Dr KC’s life.

Resident Doctors’ Association had warned that if the government failed to hold talks with Dr KC, they would be forced to come up with stern protest programmes across the country.

Similarly, independent youths and several activists have been staging protests in different districts, showing support for Dr KC and chanting slogans like “Solidarity for Dr Govinda KC”.

Dr KC is on his 19th fast-unto-death strike, demanding that the government launch MBBS programme at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, expand coverage of polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19, investigate into corruption in health sector and end the ongoing prohibitory orders imposed in different districts by making the use of face mask and physical distancing mandatory.