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10 Sep 2020 | 04:52 AM UTC

Nepal: Lockdown extended in Kathmandu Valley until September 16 /update 24

Authorities extend lockdown in Kathmandu Valley until September 16 amid COVID-19 pandemic; abide by government directives

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Event

Nepalese authorities have announced that lockdown restrictions in Kathmandu Valley have been extended until at least Wednesday, September 16, due to a rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the area. Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur are all covered by emergency measures. Under the lockdown, all nonessential movements and services remain prohibited, although some relaxations are expected to be made to transport and business operations from Thursday, September 10.

The Nepalese government previously announced that long-haul bus services and domestic flights will not be permitted to resume until September 16. Nepal's land borders remain closed to foreign nationals until at least September 16.

As of September 10, health authorities have confirmed a total of 49,219 COVID-19 cases with 312 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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