October 20: The government has decided to transfer the Dashain bonus of ministers and lawmakers to the Covid-19 Relief Fund after widespread criticism that the ministers took the bonus during the ongoing crisis.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Parbat Gurung, who is also the government’s spokesperson, informed that the government took such decision upon the directive of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
Following sever backlash, some of the MPs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party have decided to return the Dashain bonus while Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has instructed all the lawmakers of the main opposition party to return the amount.
Making the decisions of the cabinet public, Minister Gurung confirmed that the bonus taken by the ministers and MPs would be transferred to the fund.
Due to the rapid increase in the rate of coronavirus infection, the government has decided to convert quarantine facilities into isolation centres within 15 days. The Ministry of Health and Population will initiate the process in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to transform the isolation centres into specialized hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients in districts with high rate of infection. All the government-owned hospitals across the country and that in the capital will be converted into “high dependency units” within 15 days, informed Minister Gurung.
The cabinet meeting on Monday decided to extend the closure of Nepal’s international borders for cross-border movement of people. The borders will remain closed till November 15. However, certain border check-points will remain open for people to enter or exit the country for emergency purpose while the transportation of goods will remain unaffected by the border closure.
The cabinet meeting has also approved the Advertisement Regulation 2067. With the approval of the regulation, the country will implement clean feed from October 23.
Meanwhile, the government has instructed chief district officers and security chiefs of all 77 districts not to travel anywhere else from their designated areas. The home ministry said that it took such decision to control coronavirus, which is spreading at an alarming rate across the country, especially the capital.