The Nepal government has decided to ease the lockdown starting from Thursday in low-risk areas, including Kathmandu Valley, by allowing markets to reopen and private vehicles to ply while adopting effective precautions against COVID-19.
A Cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided to make the lockdown flexible and give momentum to economic and market activities that have been halted completely since the government imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 24 to prevent the spread of the virus, reports The Himalayan Times.
While retail and wholesale markets will be allowed to open ensuring that necessary precautions have been adopted against the pandemic, private vehicles will be allowed to ply on odd-even basis, according to sources.
The government has been facing complaints of loss of business, income and even lives due to harsh restrictions on public movement since more than two-and-a-half months.
Even private sector representatives had expressed reservations against the continuous extension of the lockdown and had requested the government to change the modality and allow markets and businesses to resume operations gradually, said The Himalayan Times report.
Though the government has already allowed priority industries to operate ensuring necessary precautions, industrialists have been complaining that they are not in a position to properly operate their factories due to restrictions on mobility both of people and transportation.
On May 30, the government had extended the nationwide lockdown for the seventh time till June 14.
Nepal has so far reported 4,364 COVID-19 cases, with 15 deaths.
( With inputs from IANS )