The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has urged people facing difficulty in managing food during the prohibitory orders period to call the hotline number 1180 for assistance.

A majority of the districts across the country have imposed various levels of restrictions in a bid to prevent the spread of the second wave of COVID-19.

KMC has requested people to call its hotline if they are in dire need of foodstuff for sustenance during the prohibitory orders period.

Last year, KMC had distributed food and groceries to those who faced food shortage during the time of the first wave of the pandemic. It had done so in coordination with various organizations and wards.

“The number of people coming in contact of KMC citing difficulty managing food is very less this time around compared to last year. We have been providing support to those coming to us with this problem through the ward office. I urge anyone facing the problem of food shortage to inform us by dialing 1180 for help,” KMC spokesperson Ishwor Man Dangol said.

“After getting information, KMC will provide the required foodstuffs to the needy persons from the respective ward where they reside,” he said.

Meanwhile, KMC has brought into operation a total of 20 ambulances free of charge to facilitate the treatment of patients. Of these ambulances, 10 are meant for COVID-19 patients and the remaining 10 for non-COVID patients. Anyone needing ambulance service can call 102.

Similarly, KMC has brought into operation a 309-bed isolation facility and special hospital to manage the increasing number of patients requiring oxygen support at hospitals in view of the situation created by the shortage of medical oxygen.

Of the 62,383 cases of coronavirus infection reported in KMC so far, 51,167 have recovered; 10,095 are in home isolation; 186 are in institutional isolation and 516 are undergoing treatment in different hospitals.

So far, 419 people have died due to COVID-19 in KMC.

Last year, different volunteer organizations, including a Facebook group called 100s Group, provided free food at Ratnapark area to the needy and to those who lost their jobs due to months-long lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

KMC had objected to the distribution of free food in an open space, citing health and food quality concerns, and had instructed to stop the activity.

Following backlash from the public for its “insensitive” decision, KMC later reached an agreement with the volunteering organizations and managed the space near the Paropakar Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Thapathali for the free food distribution.

KMC and Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had objected to free food distribution in open spaces saying such act could ruin the city’s reputation as “photos of hungry people eating on the streets depicted Kathmandu as a city of beggars”.

Mayor Shakya had accused the volunteers of trying to tarnish the administration’s name by “making a show of their good works”.