Banke, : The people in Nepalgunj are gradually getting accustomed to the lockdown order the government had announced two days back to stay away from the COVID-19 pandemic. The police persons and the Armed Police Force had to make massive presence in the city area to take under control those who defied the stay home order the government issued. Currently, only ambulance and security vehicles are operative, while very few motorcycles can be seen running inside the city market.
“New Road area is almost closed,” said central member of FNCCI, Krishna Prasad Shrestha, who is also the local resident here. Similarly, a local Sajida Shaha from Ranitalau informed that her locality and vicinity are calm. The central government had called the lockdown order to be effective nationwide since yesterday. The people were urged not to leave homes except for essential case. If anyone is found on road, he/she is reminded of the government order and COVID-19 and made to stay at home. The police here chased away some youths playing cricket on the DSP Road.
Dhamboji area of Surkhet Road has also eerie silence. A hotel entrepreneur Bhaskar Kafle informed that Pushpalal Chowk and the vicinity are also calm at present. Police Chief in the district, Bir Bahadur Oli, informed that police persons were mobilized massively with all-out preparedness. “Anyone defying the order could be detained,” he added. As Parashpur Road witnessed some people strolling unnecessarily, they were asked to leave the road and cooperate with government by staying at home. Police Chief Oli however said the security vehicles, ambulance and vehicles used by the health workers were allowed. Other public and private vehicles are banned.
Pregnant women, elderly ones stranded
But, the people of Dolpa including pregnant women and elderly ones heading to their homes have been stranded at Nepalgunj airport after the government imposed nationwide lockdown effective since Tuesday. Most of the stranded people numbered around 50 are from Upper Dolpa. “I have booked an air ticket. But I have to stay at a hotel here as flights are cancelled. We are in short of money to survive us,” said Raju Rokaya, ward chair of Kaike rural municipality in the district.
Moreover, an influx of people returning from various Indian cities continues despite the country under lockdown. Approximately 92 Nepalis returned home from Indian cities on Tuesday alone, according to available data. Indian police are said to have been assisting them cross the border. Chief District Officer Kumar Bahadur Khadka said Nepalis returning home from India would be rescued on condition that they would be home-quarantined under the surveillance of local administration. More than 500 Nepalis returning from India were rescued and quarantined in the premises of Mahendra Campus in Nepalgunj on Monday alone, he said. However, they broke and fled the quarantine area, increasing the infection risks.