The Biratnagar Metropolitan City has urged its residents not to leave their homes or travel, except for essential/emergency works, today onwards.

In the last few days, 14 new coronavirus cases with no travel history to coronavirus hotspots have been reported in the city, suggesting community transmission.

Issuing a notice, the metropolitan office announced that it had decided to stop all services except essential ones after coronavirus was seen in the community.

The metropolis has also decided to halt the passage of house maps, distribution of social security allowance and other non-essential services.

Weekly markets, locally known as haat bazar or hatiya, have also been closed down as per the decision of the Metropolis-level COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre.

Meanwhile, the metropolis has made it mandatory to wear face masks while walking on the street and fine shop owners Rs 10 if found not wearing face mask.

If found not wearing face mask for second time, shop owners will be made to shut their shops for a fortnight.

On Sunday alone, 22 persons, including 19 police personnel, tested positive for coronavirus in Biratnagar. As many as 24 police personnel have tested COVID positive till date in Biratnagar.

One of the police officers who tested positive for the virus is a permanent resident of Mahendrachok in Inaruwa, Sunsari.

Local authorities in Inaruwa have reimposed lockdown in the town since yesterday since the infected officer had visited his home regularly in the past few weeks.

Similarly, six security personnel deployed at a quarantine facility in Ilam Municipality tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, taking the total load of infections in Ilam to 38.

In Jhapa, 20 Armed Police Force personnel deployed along the Indo-Nepal border in Kakadbhitta have also tested COVID positive.

As of Sunday, a total of 964 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Province 1 while conducting 39,112 PCR tests. Among them, 735 have returned home after treatment.