[ADRN Working Paper] Crises in Nepal: Rise of the Pandemic and the Rise of Threat to Governance
ISBN 979-11-6617-120-8 95340
While all, if not most, countries have experienced severe repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries have taken it harder than others. Nepal is no exception. Pradip Pariyar, Executive Chairperson of Samata Foundation, states that Nepal’s management of COVID-19 could have been enhanced if proper policies were implemented and safety protocols were monitored. The author claims that Nepal increasingly appears to be governed based on exclusion and intolerance, given the disproportionate provision of COVID-19 relief materials and other discriminatory measures. Additionally, low-income groups such as construction workers, daily waged factory workers, small shop owners, and street vendors have been hit harder than others. Dissatisfaction and loss of faith in the government prevail among the Nepali people who have been socio-economically impacted by inadequate government response. Not to mention, the author adds that insufficient research laboratories and medical personnel have exacerbated the containment of pandemic-related issues. With no concrete measures yet to fight against the national emergency, Pradip Pariyar posits that the government should prohibit mass gatherings, enforce safety protocols, and compensate vulnerable communities and frontline medical personnel.
※ The following are excerpts from the article. For the full text, please check the attached file at the top of this page.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected countries all around the world. Some countries like China, New Zealand, and Denmark have persevered well through the pandemic whereas many big countries including the USA, UK, India, and Brazil are continuing to struggle to overcome it. In countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal the government has taken stringent steps to battle the pandemic, and the public has fully supported the measures taken by the state. From the cases of countries like the USA and the UK, it is evident that government effort cannot mitigate the effects of the pandemic; the role of public support is equally imperative.
During the peak state of the pandemic, when neighboring giants like China and India were developing vaccines for mass inoculation, Nepal was dealing with an internal feud among politicians. The first case in Nepal, confirmed only on January 23, 2020, was a 31-year-old student who had returned to Kathmandu from Wuhan on the 9th of January. As of January 21, 2021, the total infected cases amounted to 268,310, and the fatality from the virus was recorded to be 1,975 people. This number could have been largely controlled if proper policies were implemented and safety protocols were monitored. The Nepal government started losing its credibility as it failed to implement measures effectively, compensate victims, and got involved in power politics and corruption. Nepal has faced many issues on governance that have led to the current vulnerable state of Nepal that is unable to control the pandemic. ■
 Throughout the year, ADRN members will publish a total of three versions of the Pandemic Crisis and Democratic Governance in Asia Research to include any changes and updates in order to present timely information. The first and second parts will be publicized as a working paper and the third will be publicized as a special report. This working paper is part I of the research project.