Political parties largely defying COVID-19 safety protocols can trigger the third wave: Experts

KATHMANDU: Public Health experts have warned that the trend of defying the COVID-19 protocols at the time when the COVID-19 transmission risk is still high by the political parties can trigger the third wave of COVID-19 in the country.

The main opposition party, CPN (UML) , on Friday held its first ever statute convention gathering more than 6,000 representatives from all across the country in the capital. General convention of Nepali Congress (NC) is also underway. Akhil Revolutionary – a student union considered close to the CPN (Maoist Center) – also began its 22th national gathering in the capital on Thursday.  Around 2,200 representatives have attended the gathering from all across the country. Political parties are witnessed largely defying COVID-19 safety protocols despite restrictions from the local administrations and the Ministry of Health and Population.

Besides, one of the main festivals of Nepal, Dashain, is on our doorsteps which triggers mass movements, gatherings and celebrations.  These kinds of gatherings and celebrations can trigger the third wave of COVID-19 in Nepal, fears the former chief of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Dr Baburam Marasini.

“Many of the representatives attending the Statue Convention of CPN (UML) have travelled far in public vehicles. They are also seen defying COVID-19 protocols. The risk of COVID-19 transmission has not decreased by an inch. So, it is likely that such gatherings can trigger the third wave of COVID-19,” Dr Marasini said. Earlier, the health ministry had warned that Nepal may witness the third wave of COVID-19 after this month. 

“All the people attending the recent political gatherings must undergo COVID-19 tests in order to prevent further transmission of COVID-19,” Dr Marasini further stated. The government must take strict action against those who are defying COVID-19 safety protocols and not willing to abide by the restrictions placed by the government, said Dr Marasini adding that Nepal is witnessing more than 10 deaths related to COVID-19 daily on average and the number of daily new cases is hovering around 1,500.

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