As Covid-19 cases continue their record-breaking rise every day, the three district chiefs of Kathmandu Valley agreed on Tuesday to extend the lockdown announced on 29 April for two weeks till 12 May.
The decision was taken with further restrictions on movement, and people not allowed to be on the roads unless for funerals or hospital treatment. Market-times have also been shortened to 7-9AM only.
All domestic flights in Nepal have been suspended, although helicopter rescues and some charter flights were allowed to operate on Tuesday.
From Wednesday midnight, the government has also suspended all international flights till 14 May, allowing only two flights a week between Kathmandu and Delhi.
This last decision has come under intense criticism on Nepal’s cybersphere, with many ridiculing the rationale for continuing flights to the world’s biggest coronavirus hotspot while stopping flights to the rest of the world.
Others have railed against the decision to stop outbound flights, even before other countries have banned flights from Nepal. So far, only Hong Kong and Singapore have stopped direct flights from Kathmandu. Airlines have pleaded with the government to at least allow them to bring planes in empty to fly out passengers booked on flights out of Kathmandu.