A Journalist from Nepal Talks About How His Government is Dealing With the Pandemic
The Faces of Quarantine-One Virus Many Faces: Tsering Ngodup Lama
These are deeply worrying times for all of us here in Nepal. We are all aware that Nepal’s health system is hugely unprepared and inadequately funded to deal with this pandemic. If there’s a severe outbreak, the health system will be unable to handle it. In such a scenario, the shutdown (Nepal government-imposed nation-wide lockdown started on March 24, and it is still in place) seems like the only tool the government has at its disposal to slow down the spread of the virus. But the longer the shutdown continues, the more difficult it is going to be for the marginalized and economically distressed sections of the society. When the lockdown ends, they will find themselves in a much more economically vulnerable position than they were when it began. Even though the government has introduced some measures (mostly limited to distributing food), many believe that the government could and should be doing much more. Many also blame the government for not acting swiftly in the initial days of the pandemic.
To make matters worse, the government-appointed private company tasked with importing medical supplies to take on COVID-19, was caught up in controversy over overpricing the goods. The government had to scrap the contract with the company, further delay the delivery of medical supplies needed to tackle the pandemic.
Globally, this pandemic has made ordinary people realize the importance of ethical and able heads of states. Countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Germany that seem to be blessed with such, they are fairing much better in their fight against COVID-19 than those that don’t. But one of the most important things that I think the pandemic has made us realize is how important it is to exercise our right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy. I sincerely hope the next time we cast our vote; we will remember this and vote accordingly.
While the virus might have made people scared, it has also brought the best in us to the forefront…