Province 1: Minister says Chief Minister’s absence hits Covid-19 response

File: Sher Dhan Rai

Biratnagar, August 5

A minister of Province 1 has complained that the province’s Covid-19 response has been hit hard due to the absence of Chief Minister Sher Dhan Rai.

Rai is in Kathmandu for the past 10 days as the intra-party dispute in the ruling Nepal Communist Party has intensified. He has been seen giving interviews to various YouTube channels supporting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

But, Rai’s cabinet’s Social Development Minister Jeevan Ghimire says the government has not been able to prepare a new plan to combat the crisis in the province as the chief minister is not there.

“We have not prepared any formal roadmap to control the situation. We are consulting,” Ghimire says, “The chief minister is in Kathmandu. Once he comes back, we will make a formal decision and launch the new plan of action.”

Earlier, the government had decided to prepare a 200-bed isolation ward near the Covid-19 Treatment Centre of the Koshi Hospital in Biratnagar in view of the growing number of cases. In the past week, the number increased steadily, but nothing has been done to prepare the ward citing the chief minister’s absence.

It is still not sure when the chief minister will return.

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