Indian virus ‘more lethal’ than those from China, Italy: Nepal PM

Team Udayavani, May 20, 2020, 7:09 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said the coronavirus coming from India is more lethal than those from China and Italy and blamed the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Himalayan nation on those illegally entering the country from India, as the total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 427 on Wednesday.

Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic in Parliament on Tuesday, Oli said it has become very difficult for Nepal to contain the spread of the deadly virus due to the flow of people from outside.

Many coronavirus infected patients have entered into Nepal. The virus came from outside, as we did not have here before. We could not stop infiltration of people from outside the border, he said.

Oli said that the biggest challenge facing the country today is the rising number of coronavirus cases and blamed the rising number of coronavirus cases on individuals breaking the nationwide lockdown, especially those sneaking into Nepal from India.

Those who are coming from India through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country and some local representatives and party leaders are responsible for bringing in people from India without proper testing, Oli was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

Oli’s remarks came amid Nepal’s border row with India after the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

He said the Nepal government has been following precautionary measures since early time to stop the spread of the virus.

“It is the main priority of the government to make the country free from coronavirus,” he said.

There were reports of hundreds of people entering the country daily through different border points despite the deployment of security personnel at all major entry points along the Nepal-India border to check cross-border movement of people during the lockdown.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Oli had instructed authorities to intensify the vigil along the country’s southern border with India due to a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus patients and directed the officials to properly manage the lockdown. The nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus has been extended until June 2.

The coronavirus cases in Nepal on Wednesday rose to 427 after 25 new infection cases were confirmed, the Health Ministry said. Two persons, a man and a woman, have died due to COVID-19 in the country so far.


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