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HomeNewsOli’s virus ‘situation under control’ remark meets with criticism

Oli’s virus ‘situation under control’ remark meets with criticism

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KATHMANDU : Nepal on Friday reported 9,023 new coronavirus infections, the highest-ever single day tally since the pandemic began last year. A total of fifty people lost their lives to Covid-19, taking the death toll to 3,579. The number of active cases stood at 78,629. On average, on the brink of 50 percent of total tests are returning positive results.
But on Saturday noon, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli told the CNN that the “situation is under control” in Nepal.
“Of course the pandemic is spreading in Nepal like it is in another countries. The Covid-19 situation in Nepal is in restraint now we must say,” said Oli in response to how Nepal is placed to handle the surge in terms of resources and medical infrastructure.
Hours after, the Health Ministry released Saturday’s Covid-19 update. There were 53 new deaths within the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,632. As many as 8,287 new cases were recorded within the last 24 hours throughout the country. The number of active cases stands at 83,493.
Just as Oli’s interview was survive TV, his press adviser Surya Thapa wrote on Twitter that Prime Minister Oli told the CNN that “the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal is in check .” within the evening, Thapa tested positive for the coronavirus, for a second time.
The good news is Prime Minister Oli tested negative, Nepal Television reported, quoting Dr Krishna Paudel, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division.
Oli in his Saturday interview also went on responsible the people for the rapid surge in virus cases, which many said was nothing but a unadorned display of his ineptitude and cover-up for his government’s mishandling of the pandemic.
He boasted of getting controlled the pandemic last year and said this point “negligence of the people increased”, thereby putting a maximum share of the blame on the general public .
While people’s carelessness did contribute to the increase in Covid-19 cases, political parties, including his, too fuelled infections, public health experts and analysts say.
“Oli is liable for the spread of the virus as he’s one among the leaders who organised several gatherings,” said Lokraj Baral, a professor of politics .
“Oli cannot completely blame the people. It’s the government’s responsibility to regulate the pandemic, during which it’s failed.”
Just as Oli’s “situation under control” claim came, some members of his private secretariat also as 26 members of the House of Representatives, including ministers, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Random tests were conducted at the prime minister’s residence before the May 10 House session when Oli will move a confidence vote motion, after some people’s tests at Baluwatar came back positive.
The Secretariat of the Federal Parliament had conducted the polymerase chain reaction tests of lawmakers for 3 days starting Wednesday. As many as 18 lawmakers tested positive, while eight others had already been infected, according to the secretariat.
“We have a record of 26 members with Covid-19 positive results, including two ministers,” Gopal Nath Yogi, secretary of the House of Representatives told the Post. “The number might be higher as not all lawmakers are tested yet.”
Security sources said that 19 security personnel, six marshals and 4 employees of the Parliament Secretariat even have tested positive.
“Reports of fifty parliamentarians and officials have yet to return . We discussed the voting arrangements for Monday at today’s Cabinet meeting,” said Pradeep Gyawali, minister for foreign affairs.
Speaker Agni Sapkota has called a gathering of the Business Advisory Committee to make a decision how arrangements might be made in order that the lawmakers who have contracted the virus could vote on Oli’s confidence motion. Bishal Bhattarai, chief whip of the ruling CPN-UML, said separate arrangements are often made for those that have tested positive for voting.
“Those who have tested positive can cast their votes from a separate hall,” Bhattarai told the Post. Among the 26 who have tested positive, 14 are from the UML.
By suddenly seeking to travel for a floor test, Oli has diverted his focus from governance to politics. His administration’s handling of the pandemic had continuously invited criticism. Analysts say Oli could have done much better by not playing political games when the second wave is devastatingly affecting the country, as people are dying for want of hospital beds, ventilators and oxygen.
Asked if allowing religious festivals that gathered huge crowds was mistaken, Oli went off in his response, blaming the political instability, which many say is mentioned within the country by him, and lectured how nobody should use the pandemic for political gains.
Analysts have for long blamed Oli’s poor governance and his penchant for political sechemings for the rising cases of the coronavirus within the second wave.
Many say when invited for an interview by the CNN, which features a wider viewership globally, Prime Minister Oli was offered a chance on a platter to brief the planet on this Covid-19 situation in Nepal and seek support of the international community in Nepal’s fight against the virus, especially when the country lacks vaccines, medical equipment and other essentials.

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