COVID-19: Enough is Enough Protest
Since the second week of June, youths of Nepal have came down to the streets with peaceful protest against the incompetency of the Government to maintain/control the prevailing pandemic COVID-19 in a proper way. It happened in different cities throughout the nation including the capital city Kathmandu, Butwal, Chitwan, Pokhara and many more.
Protest in Baglung:
Today, on 14th June, the active and concerned youths of Baglung Bazaar (which is apparently one of the red zones of COVID-19 in Nepal) replicated the peaceful protest in pursuit of alerting the government to take effective actions to keep the whole country safe against the pandemic. The mass of the youths was gathered at Loktantrik Chowk.
While the whole citizens of the country are being locked down, the government claims to have taken proper steps to not let the coronavirus spread across the country. However, the number of cases started to increase like anything. Recently, the positive cases in Nepal is in hundreds per day. Also, the number of COVID-19 infected patients death has increased which was totally unexpected.
COVID-19 Cases in Nepal
By the time, this blog is being written, the COVID-19 cases status in Nepal is:
Total Cases – 5760
Total Deaths – 19
Total Recovered – 974
Active Cases – 4767
Source: Worldometers Corona Update
Agendas of the Protest
Now, coming back to the protest, it all started when people lost their patience and started to realize that the government might have been incompetent or incapable to take the necessary actions against the pandemic. The Nepali citizens/youths have outlined the below main complaints against the government via the slogans and card-boards.
- The quarantine centers are unmanaged with no proper hygienic standards
- The improper management of the Nepali citizens coming across the Indian Border
- The extensive use of the RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) kits which doesn’t confirm the coronavirus infection
- The less number of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests done which actually provides the accurate results of coronavirus infection
- PCR tests being done after the deaths of the patients (apparently few turned out to be positive)
- No transparency in the huge expense made by the government to maintain COVID-19 pandemic so far, which is Nrs. 10 Arba (ten zeros)
- The incapability in forming better policies to bring back the Nepali citizens stuck in foreign countries (Government has started the campaign to bring them back but the ticket rate seems 3-4 times higher than normal)
- The illogical almost 3 months long lockdown impacting the businesses and individuals so bad, which could’ve been allowed to run with effective and safe measures
- The government seeming to be irresponsible towards the lower-class families who have lost the income source due to the lockdown
- The government making irrational statement about our immunity power being boosted by the regular ingredients in our food
- The unjustified steps of the government to procure carpet for President’s office worth rupees 1 Crore, renovate the bathroom and also open gym hall for the house of representatives during such pandemic period
What the Protest Excludes?
Even though there are other hot sensitive cases ongoing like Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura India-Nepal border issue and MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) parallel with the pandemic, the protest is solely against the government not being able to properly act against COVID-19. Also, the protest is not influenced by any political party or political interest but is an exclusively ran campaign by Nepali citizens.
In the beginning protests, the Nepal police confronted the protesters to back them off as it would be risky to gather in such a mass at this time. But the youths doesn’t seem to stop it anyway until the government addresses the concerns.
This indeed was a needful action that Nepali people had to do to raise their voices (as it’s the right); however, maintaining proper physical distance among the mass and being peaceful and non-violent with proper manner is a must.
Note: All the photos have been provided by Suman KC.
Featured image photo credit: The Kathmandu Post
Find such related posts featuring the hot issues from Nepal Here