Coronavirus prevention in limbo due to weak health desk at border
Butwal, 9 March (2020) – People infected with Covid-19 have been detected in different areas in India adjoining Province-5. But the health desk deployed to detect coronavirus patients at the border is ineffective.
Common people are worried with government’s negligence.
Province-5 government has informed that it has established health desk at Belahiya in Rupandehi, Krishna Nagar in Kapilvastu, Rupaidiya in Banke, Koilabas in Dang and Maheshpur in West Nawalparasi district. But these health desks have not been carrying out effective health checks.
Due to negligence in the border area in Belahiya (Sunauli), people have been crossing the border without proper health checks. Many Nepali and Indian people cross this particular border gate in a large number every day.
Health desk in the border area does not have proper equipment, human resource and quarantine process. Rupandehi district police chief Hem Kumar Thapa admitted that health check from the Nepali side is not effective.
“There is only a fever detecting equipment. Health staffs find themselves unsafe. Health desk area is littered with waste,” he said.
Thapa said that India has been strict with tourists from the third country but Nepali and Indian people have been easily crossing the border. All six districts in the Tarai region in Province-5 have border gates.
Minister of Social Development Sudarshan Baral said that the provincial government has developed plans to fight coronavirus in coordination with all three tiers of the government. He also said that the government has prioritized the construction of isolation rooms.
Baral said that Immigration Office, Bhairahawa has not found any coronavirus patient till now.
But worryingly masks are in short supply in Province-5. The government has not been able to take action against price-gouging sellers.