Nepalese police have used tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators who protested Thursday near the Prime Minister’s residence in Kathmandu against the government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the largest rally since the nationwide detention on March 24, nearly 1,000 demonstrators peacefully marched through the center of the capital, demanding more tests, better facilities, and a concrete plan to curb the spread and end the detention. .
Others have demanded the return of millions of Nepalese workers stranded in different countries due to travel restrictions imposed worldwide.
However, the protest became violent after the police tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas and a water cannon. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested. A police spokesman, Shyam Lal Gyawali, has confirmed that there have been arrests but has not offered any numbers.
Similar protests have taken place in other cities in the country. These come a day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced a gradual de-escalation plan to end the detention. Although no details have yet been released, the government would allow stores to reopen and private vehicles to circulate this Thursday.
So far, COVID-19 has left 4,364 cases and 15 deaths in Nepal.