The government has prepared a 10-step modality to loosen the ongoing national lockdown.

In this process, the government has side-lined three modalities prepared by the Covid-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) yesterday as options to loosen the ongoing national lockdown.

Economy, health sector, and national security were the key bases for CCMC’s recommendations to manage and ease the ongoing lockdown by June 15 (Ashad 1).

CCMC, established on March 29 (Chaitra 16) as per the decision of the Council of Ministers, has the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Council of Ministers as its coordinators.

CCMC works to curb and combat the spread of Covid-19 through health, national peace and security, import, and information sectors. Nepal Army is responsible for the peace and security part of the process.

As the move to ease the ongoing lockdown falls under national peace and security, Nepal Army plays a major role in proposing new modalities.

CCMC’s first modality proposed easing the ongoing lockdown under various steps — opening sectors of utmost urgency in the first week and gradually opening other sectors after every second week.

Similarly, the second modality proposed dividing Covid-19 affected areas in three zones i.e. red, yellow, and orange on the basis of the severity of the spread of virus. Red meaning danger zones with maximum spread, yellow meaning moderate zones with some spread, and orange meaning zones with few Covid-19 cases.

The third modality proposed figuring out most essential services required for the general public and sectors that can be gradually opened later, and loosening the ongoing lockdown accordingly.

The CCMC’s modality proposals were rejected by the High-level Coordination Committee for Prevention and Control of Covid-19 led by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel.

Weeks have passed and traders are losing patience with no end in sight to the nationwide lockdown that has effectively halted all economic activities for the past two-and-a-half months.

Businesses have gradually started to defy the lockdown after the clampdown on market activities and movement of people has had little effect in curbing the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Traders are of the view that the government has hardly done anything other than extending the lockdown, turning a blind eye to the public’s hardships.