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COVID 19 exacerbating poverty in Nepal

5:03 am, July 8, 2021

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Prajwal Badalhttps://informnepal.com
Prajwal Badal the editor of Inform Nepal. He is also a researcher, community development worker, and advocate.

The COVID crisis has been there for more than a year now. Many lockdowns, shutdowns and travel restrictions have deeply affected the lifestyle of people across the country. All sectors are directly or indirectly affected by the COVID 19. Once again, the 2nd wave of COVID has trembled the nation. The new coronavirus surge is found to be more threatening than ever before making the travel restrictions stricter. Since the country is in a complete state of lockdown, daily wage workers are more affected by it. The lockdown has also induced an economic crisis among poor and lower-middle-class people. A quarter of the total population lives below the poverty line in Nepal. They are the important yet vulnerable portion of the population. Most of them have lost their jobs in this lockdown. The imposition of travel restrictions and closure of industries and factories have prompted hardships and affected the survival of the daily wage workers.

As the COVID cases and death toll have exploded in Nepal, the government of Nepal have passed the ordinance for COVID 19 crisis management. The ordinance was drafted for the prevention and response of COVID 19. Anyone violating the protocols of travel restrictions could face up to a year in prison or could be subjected to a penalty of 50000 or both. However, many people believe this ordinance is cruel. The ordinance does not address the sentiments of many daily wage workers who are constantly struggling for two meals a day. Strong testing and contact tracing are required along with travel restrictions. Yet the government of Nepal is only focused on lockdowns and travel restrictions with no vision further. Likewise, vaccination is every citizen rights. However, the mainstream and the big media houses are only covering political turmoil happening around which has made some real issues out of focus. It is really important to be safe from the pandemic. At the same time, the nation should guarantee basic human rights to its citizens. We need to be safe from both hunger and COVID. 

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