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State 1 to build 50-bed hospital within week, to close all border crossings with India

With the view to ward off potential outburst of COVID-19, the State 1 government has decided to set up a 50-bed hospital along with 10-bed ventilator facility in partnership with Nepal Army, the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police at the building of erstwhile National Trading Limited within a week. State 1 government has also decided to close all border crossings with India by urging the federal government.  

Two northern border crossings with China- Kimanthanka and Olangchunggola – were closed for cross border movements of locals since 19 January by China. The government said it upheld its already circulated decision to end bigger gathering all over the state. The state government decided to do so in its Chief Minister (CM) Sherdhan Rai- led cabinet meeting Friday afternoon at state capital Biratnagar.  

The state cabinet meeting also decided to upgrade medical laboratories of Dharan-based B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and Biratnagar-based Koshi Zonal Hospital. Meanwhile, the emergency state cabinet meeting has Okayed 12 separate decisions. The decisions, circulated by CM Rai, includes implementing all decisions made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwor Pokhrel to take precaution on COVID-19, directing all line agencies under state government to manage running water and soap for all governmental and non-governmental institutions including hospitals and departmental stores. 

Other decisions includes to cease all services like registration, renew and license given by Transport Management Offices and Transport Service Offices under the state government until Chaitra last (12 April), to carry out homework for establishing a medical laboratory in the state.  

The state government decided to form a 25-member monitoring committee comprising all stakeholders chaired by CM Rai. Surrounded by COVID- 19 -hit India in southern and eastern border and by China in northern border, state 1, so far, has not a single recorded case of COVID-19.  

However, the state governmenthas expedited all possible precautionary measures to prepare for potential outbreak of the WHO-declared global pandemic in the days ahead. Yesterday, the state government in association with Nepal Army’s Eastern Divisional Headquarters Itahari, constructed 440-bed quarantine space in three districts of Jhapa, Morang and Udayapur. (rss) 

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