KATHMANDU, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The Nepali government decided on Sunday to extend the nationwide lockdown by another 15 days as the Himalayan country is witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, a senior cabinet minister said.
The current lockdown, imposed on March 24, is expiring on Monday. "The cabinet on Sunday decided to extend the lockdown till June 2," Nepali Finance and Communication Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada told a press conference.
During the lockdown, the Nepali government has suspended ground and air transport, shut down most of the shops and industries while relaxing it for certain industries and service sector, particularly related to essential food item and medical items and construction sectors.
The extension of the lockdown came hours after the Himalayan country reported the second death from COVID-19 on Sunday.
A 25-year-old man from southwestern Banke district who died on Sunday morning was tested positive for COVID-19, the Health Ministry said earlier in the day.
On Saturday, a 29-year-old woman died, becoming the first COVID-19 death in the Himalayan country.
COVID-19 cases in Nepal have reached 295 on Sunday after the cases nearly tripled in the last 10 days, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.
Minister Khatiwada said a cabinet meeting discussed employing people staying in quarantine in certain productive activities by ensuring proper health protocol, taking measures to promote domestic medicinal herbs to improve immunity of citizens against COVID-19 and strengthening supervision of people travelling on the road with authorized transport pass. Enditem