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19 Aug 2020 | 10:28 AM UTC

Nepal: Transport and public gatherings banned in Kathmandu from August 19 /update 20

Restrictions on transport and public gatherings in Kathmandu introduced for one week from August 19; follow official directives

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Event

The Nepalese government announced that increased restrictions on transport and public gatherings in Kathmandu will be introduced from Wednesday, August 19, following an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Public and religious gatherings in the capital will be prohibited until at least August 26, while the use of public and private vehicles will only be permitted for haulage providers and essential health workers. The enhanced restrictions will be reviewed on August 26 and may be extended depending on the number of local COVID-19 cases.

The announcement comes a day after Nepal recorded its highest daily figures for new COVID-19 infections, with over 1000 cases being confirmed, including 205 in the capital. The country's COVID-19 measures were previously eased in June and July, although international and domestic travel restrictions remain in place.

As of August 19, health authorities have confirmed a total of 28,938 COVID-19 cases with 120 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized. 

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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