Kathmandu, August 30

Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa has expressed concern about the rising number of COVID-19 cases among personnel of different security agencies across the country.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, Minister Thapa said the growing number of security forces contracting COVID-19 was worrisome. He also said that the government would not leave any stone unturned to control the coronavirus spread among security personnel.

Minister Thapa also expressed concern over safety of the jail birds and people in police custody, who are required to live in groups.

The meeting was attended by four lawmakers, including the committee’s chairperson Shashi Shrestha, lawmakers Lalbabu Pandit, Rekha Sharma, and Dila Sangraula. All lawmakers, except Minister Thapa, had gathered at a meeting hall in Singhadarbar. A lawmaker, who attended the meeting, said the committee had directed the government to act in a robust manner to subdue the spread of COVID-19 in barracks, prisons and police custody. The committee has also forwarded a suggestion to the government to release arrestees of minor crime.

The committee has also suggested the government to improve prison management across the country at the earliest.
As of today, over 2,500 security personnel from Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have contracted the COVID-19.

Among them 1,570 security personnel of Nepal Police have contracted the virus. Of them, 686 have recovered while 884 are undergoing treatment at various COVID-19 hospitals or in home isolation.

Over 500 security personnel of APF have contracted the virus, according to Deputy Inspector General Raj Aryal. He further said around 50 per cent of security personnel have recovered from the disease. As many as 432 security personnel of Nepali Army have contracted the virus as of today.

Santosh Paudel, spokesperson of the NA said 119 infected NA personnel have recovered.

NA’s security personnel have been providing security on some border points in the country. NA personnel also provide security at quarantine centres, isolation centres, conduct health camps and are required to manage bodies of those who have lost their lives to the virus.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 31, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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