Kathmandu, July 16  Authorities in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley have decided to extend the ongoing lockdown till July 25 to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, but with further relaxation of the prohibitory orders.

The last round of lockdown was scheduled to expire on Thursday midnight. The three districts in the valley decided to extend it by another 10 days starting from Friday.

“We decided to extend the lockdown as the COVID-19 cases have not come down drastically,” Kali Prasad Parajuli, chief district officer of Kathmandu, told Xinhua news agency late Thursday.

The Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts in the valley issued the same prohibitory orders.

As per the new notice, shops can open one more hour till 7 p.m. from Friday.

Likewise, rules are eased as well for vehicles entering the valley for emergency purposes, with travellers not asked to produce recommendation letters by local administrations any more, which are mandatory till Thursday midnight.

In recent weeks, the authorities in the Kathmandu Valley have been gradually easing the provisions of lockdown while extending it time and again from the starting date on April 29.

On July 4, they lifted all the restrictive measures against public and private transportation services, and shops were allowed more operation hours.

Nepali officials said the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre has recommended the government to resume the long-distance public transportation service too.

Nepal has witnessed a second wave of the pandemic since early April, and daily cases in the South Asian country have remained between 1,500 and 2,000 in the last few days.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 1,782 new cases and 33 more deaths, bringing the total infection tally to 662,570 and the fatality toll to 9,463.

Source: IANS