Given how unconcerned rulers in Kathmandu have historically been to the plight of underserved Nepalis in the rest of the country, it was perhaps inevitable that the current government would finally start taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously after the case load increased in the capital.
On Thursday, the government sealed off Kathmandu Valley — no one can come in or out. This sense of urgency after one minister, five MPs, one head of a constitutional body, a provincial attorney general and other elected officials tested positive for the virus in the past week.
Nepal Communist Party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal is in self-isolation at his home in Khumaltar after a driver of his secretariat was infected. In Baluwatar, Prime Minister Oli, who has had a double kidney transplant, has also restricted visitors.
However, as we went to press on Thursday at noon, Dahal drove to Baluwatar to meet Oli — breaking his own self-isolation. The two had not met for 10 days.
For the past week, it seemed the struggle for supremacy between Dahal and Oli had been put on hold, as their factions could not physically meet to plan and plot their next moves against each other. Because of this, the media has got a respite from the blow-by-blow daily reporting of who from one faction or the other secretly met whom, and where.