News Digest – National Security & Climate Change (December 10 – December 16, 2020)

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Nepal’s Covid-19 tally reaches 250180 as death toll reaches 1730: As of December 9, Nepal’s COVID-19 tally stands at 243,377 and the death tally has reached 1,637. According to the health ministry, there are 12,686 active cases of infection in the country while 229,054 people have made a recovery. Province No. 2 has reported 20,469 cases with 2,015 deaths, Bagmati Province has reported 136,022 cases with 866 deaths, Lumbini Pradesh has reported 27,545 cases with 220 deaths, Sudurpaschim Pradesh has reported 13,187 cases with 48 deaths, Province No. 1 has reported 28,992 cases with 210 deaths, Karnali Province has reported 6,251 cases with 24 deaths, and Gandaki Province has reported 15,957 cases with 125 deaths.

School teacher brutally killed in Morang, Biplab-led party claims responsibility: School teacher Rajendra Kumar Shrestha was brutally murdered in Morang after being abducted by the outlawed Biplab-led Communist Party of Nepal. The Oli government had branded the splinter of the Maoist party that led a decade long war against the state as a criminal outfit in 2019. Ever since, the outfit has demanded to be legitimized as a political party and that the ban be lifted. Four individuals lost their lives after bomb blasts in Kathmandu and Lalitpur in May 2019.

Nepal Army chief alerts units to increase surveillance after Biplab-led CPN resumes activities: The chief of Nepal Army has directed units to increase vigilance as the outlawed Biplab-led CPN ramps up activities. The NA spokesperson said that “the chief has asked all of us to work together with provincial and local governments in relation to the increased non-constitutional work of the armed group”. Recently, the Chand-led CPN recently claimed responsibility for the murder of a school teacher in Morang on 8 December.

Odd-even rule fails to mitigate virus spread: The government decided to enforce odd-even rule on the movement of vehicles on September 5. The idea behind the decision was that it would discourage people to leave their homes thus containing the spread of the virus. However, it led to the overcrowding of public vehicles proving to be a counterproductive measure. Health experts have criticized the decision and maintained that the decision is responsible for the continued rise in number of cases.

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