KATHMANDU: The government’s decision to relax prohibitory orders without ramping up PCR tests is likely to increase the chances of COVID-19 spreading faster, say health experts.

Anup Subedee, senior consultant, general medicine and infectious diseases, condemned the government’s decision to open almost all sectors of the economy.

“The government erred in the past when it opened all sectors of the economy and it has repeated the same mistake,” Subedee said. This may lead to a stricter lockdown if COVID cases continue to rise, he added. He suggested that the government ramp up PCR tests as rate of COVID infection had shot up in recent weeks.

Former director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Baburam Marasini said the government’s decision to allow people to travel freely in public vehicles was wrong. “The government should at least check passengers for major symptoms of COVID-19. It can be easily done at major entry points,” added Marasini.

Marasini argued that by expanding tests the government stood to gain, as those testing negative could spur economic activities.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 18, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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