Preparations are underway to extend the prohibitory orders issued in the Kathmandu Valley from midnight of Wednesday in a bid to curb coronavirus infection rate and reduce risk.
A joint meeting of the Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur district administrations is being held today to review the current situation and is likely extend the ongoing prohibitory orders that end at midnight today.

Current COVID-19 situation will be discussed jointly with the District COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (DCCMC) led by the Chief District Officers and the local level representatives of the Kathmandu Valley, said Janak Raj Dahal, Chief District Officer of Kathmandu.

On Monday, the Valley Municipality Forum decided to halt all services provided by the local levels, except essential ones, till August 31 inside the Valley. The Forum also recommended to extend the suspension of services till September 31.

The Bhaktapur and Lalitpur District Security Committees and DCCMC meeting on Monday decided to extend the ongoing prohibitory order. Both administrations have said that their decisions will be tabled at today’s joint meeting.

Dahal claimed that the restrictions had helped reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the Valley. “Various sectors have suggested that the ongoing restrictions be extended further to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread,” he said.

Lalitpur CDO, Narayan Prasad Bhatta, said, “Our conclusion is that the six-day-long prohibitory order has curbed the risk of transmission. Security bodies and the local levels have also concluded the same.”

“We feel that the prohibitory orders need to be extended for at least a week, the scope of testing should be expanded, and people’s movement for non-essential works should be stopped completely,” he said.

Chief District Officer of Bhaktapur, Humkala Pandey said, “People’s movement has not been completely controlled. People are still strolling in name of morning walks and evening walks. The joint meeting will take a tough decision to strictly end such behaviour,” Pandey said.

CDO Dahal said that the police had been instructed to use force if people refuse to follow the directions of the administrations.

“Morning walks and evening walks put the walkers as well as others at risk of falling prey to coronavirus infection,” he said adding, “Morning walk or not, anyone defying the prohibitory orders under any pretext should be prepared to face imprisonment and fines as per the law.”