Kathmandu [Nepal], April 13 (ANI): Due to the nation-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus only emergency service vehicles and vehicles with permits are plying on roads in Nepal.
Major Jatras (street fests) and festivals, which used to drag thousands of devotees have also been called off. Only the ritualistic works are being carried out in the Himalayan nation which is under complete lockdown since March 24.
People are sending wishes and enjoying inside their homes as the fear of COVID-19 spread has gripped the entire globe.
Over the last week, cases have increased at certain intervals. The current tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nepal is 12, with zero deaths reported and with one patient who has recovered.
Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a recorded statement on Nepali New Year said: "At this time we should have been welcoming New Year with fervor and happiness bidding farewell to the bygone year, learning lessons from it and making resolutions but we are now welcoming this year in an unpleasant situation."
The first day of the year 2077 Nepali New Year, is the day when everyone plans for the future and welcomes it in groups.
Jatras are held in various squares of Kathmandu Valley. However, this year everything has fallen silent to avert the spread of the virus.
Only the rituals associated with the festivals are allowed to carry on.
The Biska Jatra of Bhaktapur has been called off for the second time in its century's long history owing to the increased risk of COVID-19 infection along with many other festivals that were held simultaneously. The events that were to take place before or after also have been called off.
"Deadline extended for the second time which is set to end on 3rd of Baisakh (15 April). The progress and number of cases that would be reported on the remaining two days will determine progress initiated by us and also would finalize our policy to fight against it. I want to assure you all that the supply system would not be affected whatsoever the condition would turn out to be," Prime Minister Oli said.
Prime Minister Oli in a message on the occasion of the Nepali New Year has also announced to donate salary to the national fund created to fight against COVID-19 until and unless the situation ceases.
The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the Himalayan nation on Sunday rose to 12 as three Indian nationals who came to Birgunj City of Parsa District tested positive for the virus. (ANI)