Lawmakers have whipped the government for failing to take precautionary measures upon the novel coronavirus, which has been growing across the globe from China.They flayed the government authorities for failing to evacuate Nepali citizens in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the virus outbreak, despite the latter’s appeals for help.
Setting questions to Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal at parliament on Tuesday, lawmakers, principally those from the main opposition Nepali Congress,criticized the government for not preparing isolation wards for Nepali students in China who are desperately awaiting evacuation.
“We feel nervous over the government’s dilly-dallying over evacuating Nepali citizens in China,” said NC party whip PushpaBhusal.
Another NC lawmaker, Devendra Raj Kande, criticized the government for failing to designate isolation wards for those evacuated from China.
“China built a hospital in just 10 days for the treatment of coronavirus cases. Our government is still unable to find a place where those evacuated are to be taken,” said Kandel.
NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu demanded not to evacuate the Nepali citizens from China without first adopting precautionary measures. “The government shouldn’t act hastily in evacuating those infected,” he said.
Samajbadi Party lawmaker Pradip Yadav said satirically that the government can accommodate the evacuees in parliament if it fails to find isolation premises. “We can run parliament under tents in the meantime,” he quipped.
Bal Krishna Khand, Prakash SnehiRasaili and Dibya Mani Rajbhandari also drew the government’s attention towards the issue. Earlier, ruling NCP lawmaker Shanta Kumar Tharu had demanded the closure of the entire border with Tibet to keep the virus out.
Responding to lawmakers’ concerns, Health Minister Dhakal claimed that the government has been adopting necessary precautions against the virus. He informed that at least 43 isolation beds have been readied at three different Valley hospitals in view of the virus menace.
“We cannot adopt measures like that of China. However, we are taking measures to tackle the level of threat we face,” he claimed.
Dhakal also informed parliament that 13 individuals were recently tested for suspected coronavirus infection, but the test results were all negative. He said the only Nepali found infected with the virus had already recovered.
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