India responsible for rise in coronavirus cases in Nepal: PM Oli as cases climb to 682 in country

As the number of cases in Nepal reached 682, Nepal PM blamed India for the Covid-19 spread in his country.

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. (Photo: AP)

Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday blamed India for the rising number of Covid-19 cases in his country. In a televised address to his nation, PM Oli claimed that the unchecked flow of people from India was causing the spike in coronavirus cases in Nepal.

Nepal, which has extended its nationwide lockdown till June 2 to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, is among the nations that have the least number of cases of the deadly COVID-19 with four deaths.

“Fatality in Nepal is less in comparison to other countries of South Asia. Those coming from India are coming in without proper checking which has contributed to the further spread of Covid-19,” KP Sharma Oli said.

Nepal PM’s televised address coincided with the highest spike in Covid cases in the country. The total number of people infected by the novel coronavirus is 682 in Nepal, including 79 cases reported on Monday.

This is not the first time Nepal PM has blamed India for the Covid-19 crisis in his country. A few days ago, the leader claimed that the strain of virus coming from India was deadlier than the one being transmitted from China or Italy.

“The coronavirus cases coming from India are more lethal than those from China and Italy,” Pm Oli told Nepal’s parliament on May 20. “Those who are coming from India through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country and some local representatives and party leaders are responsible for bringing in people from India without proper testing,” Oli was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

Oli’s allegations come amid Nepal’s border row with India after the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.

India has said that the recently-inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand lies completely within its territory. Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane last week said that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to India’s newly-inaugurated road linking Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand at the behest of “someone else”, in an apparent reference to a possible role by China on the matter.

He said there was no dispute whatsoever between India and Nepal in the area and road laid was very much within the Indian side.

(With inputs from Geeta Mohan in New Delhi and agencies)

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