The Ministry of Health and Population has said that the rate of CPVID-19 infection is on the rise and has requested people not to go out of their house unless absolutely necessary.

Stating that the number of infections was doubling every four days, Ministry spokesperson Dr Jageshwor Gautam said that there were indications that the county’s healthcare infrastructure might not be able to handle the rapid rise in cases.

Speaking at a press briefing organized by the Ministry on Wednesday, Dr Gautam requested the public not to hold meetings, gatherings, seminars, and processions.

He added that the infection was spreading due to negligence and carelessness among people as they continue to gather in crowds at weddings, places of worship, banquets and seminars.

Speaking at a press briefing organized by the Ministry on Health and Population (MoHP) on Wednesday, Professor of the Department of Public Health at Kathmandu University, Dr Archana Shrestha said that the number of coronavirus cases has increased by 162 percent this week as compared to the previous week.

She said that COVID cases could increase at an even faster rate next week.

According to Shrestha, the positivity rate higher than 5 percent is considered to be risky.

“Currently, the rate of people testing positive through PCR tests is more than 5 percent and increasing rapidly in the community level,” she said.

She added that the second wave caused by the new variant of coronavirus is believed to be more infectious among age group of 25-34 years and 5-14 years.

Of those testing positive for the contagion in Nepal yesterday, 224 were persons below the age of 20, including 52 children aged below 10. The highest number of cases, 564, were seen in people aged between 30 and 39.

In the first wave, 64 percent of men and 36 percent of women were infected, while in the second wave, 40 percent of women and about 60 percent of men are infected.

Lately, a new UK variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Nepal. It is said that the new variant spreads 43 to 90 percent faster and increases the risk of death by 64 percent.

Meanwhile, it is important to note here that the Prime Minister and ministers have been seen violating health safety protocols set by the government.

On Monday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli conducted a religious ceremony in Baluwatar to hand over the idols of Hindu gods Ram and Sita to be installed at Ayodhya Dham, in Madi of Chitwan.

The idols of Rama, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman were placed in a chariot and brought to Devghat on Tuesday night. Thousands of people participated in the idol installation program on the occasion of Hindu festival Ram Nawami on Wednesday.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhanubhakta Dhakal, Chief Minister of Bagmati Province, Chief Minister of Province 2, MPs, city chiefs were also present in the idol installation ceremony on Wednesday.

People from the surrounding districts had also came to Madi to participate in the program.

As thousands of participants reveled the occasion by dancing and singing, following health safety standards such as social distancing was not possible.

Culture Minister Dhakal, who was the Minister of Health during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, was the chief guest at the idol installation ceremony.

Addressing the program amid a crowd of thousands, Dhakal highlighted the importance of Hindu religion and did not hesitate to raise public awareness about the risks of COVID-19.

He also promised continuous support from the government to prove that Ram was born in Madi and to build Ayodhya Dham in Chitwan.

Mayor of Madi Municipality Thakur Dhakal said that the construction of Ayodhya Dham was an opportunity to change the face of Madi.

“The Prime Minister has given us this opportunity. He wants to make Madi a gem. Invest accordingly, the people of Madi are ready to support the prime minister,” he said.

On the day of Bhanu Jayanti last year, Prime Minister Oli had claimed that Ram was not born in India but in Birgunj, west of Thori, in Nepal.

Despite his controversial remarks, plans to build a Ram Dham in Ayodhyapuri was moved forward. As the master plan of Ramdham is being prepared, idols have been brought and placed in a temporary temple for the time being.