COVID-19 fear looms large among Manang folks as people’s movement goes unhindered
By Nabin Lamichhane, MANANG:- The number of workers and employees entering Manang is increasing with the lifting of nationwide lockdown against COVID-19 pandemic since the night of July 21.
The nationwide scenario is that increase in people’s movement has led to the rise in infection rate and the death toll as well. The Manang folks are worried to see the noticeable entry of workers from outside the district as they fear that it would contribute to the further spread of the virus. Some 40 to 60 people from different parts of the country are moving into the district in search of work opportunities. They are mainly from Gorkha, Lamjung, Rukum, Rolpa, and Rasuwa districts, the Border Police Beat, Taal said. The government has announced some districts including Manang, the part of Gandaki State, as the districts with zero infection. But fear looms large among the locals that it would be plagued by the virus due to uncontrolled people’s inflow. Chame Rural Municipality Chair Lokendra Ghale said they were concerned about the current situation the district was facing and keeping the records of people arriving in the district for works, their probable employers and are allowed to leave for destination only after going through RDT.
As he said, any people entering the rural municipality as a worker is made to stay in self-quarantine and not to make movements outside the working station. Presently, constructions of the District Hospital and District Prison building are underway at Chame and the projects are attracting workers from outside the district. Contractors have been urged to ensure safety measures against the virus at workplace and PCR tests for employees and workers. Besides, workers have entered the Manang Disyang Rural Municipality and Narpabhumi Rural Municipality. People of the Naso Rural Municipality are concerned over the unhindered movement of people into their locality. Naso is being used as a transit point for workers to reach other parts of the district.
According to locals, they face multiple effects of the pandemic. On one hand, their seasonal income has stopped due to the cessation of Yarsha collection while on the other hand, they face health threats from the virus. Chief District Officer Pushpa Raj Poudel said the increase in people’s movement was expected with the lifting of lockdown. However, safety measures are in place to prevent and control the virus. Contractors concerned are given the responsibility of keeping records of people arriving here as workers, according to him. So far one employee was tested positive for the virus in the district and the case was already recovered. It reports no new case of the virus so far.