COVID-19 prevention fund witnesses upward trend of contributors
Kathmandu - The number of contributors to the Coronavirus Infection Prevention, Control and Treatment Fund set up by the government has been on the rise day by day. According to the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), the fund has so far received the deposit of around two billion rupees and is receiving more commitments for the support. The pandemic of COVID-19 is accelerating and until the preparation of this report, it has spread to 203 countries across the globe, infecting 1,016,258 and killing 53,235. Among the infected, 213,126 have already returned home after treatment and cure.
So far, Italy is ahead in the casualty rate with 13,915 deaths followed by 10,348 in Spain and 6,095 in the USA. These are the top three countries reporting the highest death toll from COVID-19. The USA has the ever highest confirmed cases as its number rises over 245,000. In Nepal, six COVID-19 cases, all imported, have been confirmed till Thursday and with the detection of the second case on March 23, the country has gone into lockdown since March 24. The first infected who had arrived home from Wuhan of China has been already cured. The nationwide lockdown has been extended till April 7 bearing in mind the possible outbreak and its risks. The Fund with its seed money of Rs 500 million was instituted on March 25. Around one million alone was deposited on Thursday. Around Rs 250 million will be deposited to the Fund on behalf of civil service employees.
The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker, National Assembly Chair and members of the Council of Ministers have already contributed to the Fund. Private organisations and business community have donated (both cash, and goods/materials) to the Fund. The government has provided its Rastriya Banijya Bank's account number 196000001101 ( Singhadurbar branch) for those wishing to contribute to the Fund. The government has urged the people to contribute to the fund, according to OPMCM's Spokesperson Rajendra Kumar Poudel. Individual contributions to the fund has also witnessed upward trend. 'A' class commercial banks have been contributing to the Fund. According to Nepal Bankers' Association, commercial banks have alone contributed Rs 254 million to the Fund. Global IME Bank donated Rs 11.5 million and Rastriya Banijaya Bank Rs 18.5 million.
Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation donated Rs 500 million, Nepal Telecommunications Authority Rs 150 million and Nepal Telecom Limited Rs 120 million. Securities Board of Nepal contributed Rs 30 million, Deposit and Credit Guarantee Fund Rs 30 million, Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd. Rs 35.1 million, Citizen Investment Trust Rs 20 million and CDS and Clearing Limited Rs 3.5 million. Similarly, Beema Samiti provided Rs 50 million, Rastriya Beema Company Limited Rs 10 million, Employees Provident Fund Rs 50 million, Nepal Freight Forwarders Association over Rs 700,000, Agricultural Development Bank Limited Rs 16 million, Bank of Kathmandu Rs 10.5 million, Century Bank Rs 8.5 million, Citizens Bank Rs 5 million, Civil Bank Rs 7.8 million, Himalayan Bank Rs 12.5 million, Kumari Bank Rs 7 million and Laxmi Bank Rs 10 million. Staffs of banks donated over Rs 500,000. Machhapuchchhre Bank contributed Rs 10.6 million, Mega Bank Rs 13.5 million, NCC Bank Rs 10 million, Nepal Bangladesh Bank Rs 14.5 million, Nepal Bank Rs 13.5 million, Nepal SBI Bank Rs 10 million, Nepal Investment Bank Rs 10 million, NMB Bank Rs 15.1 million, Prabhu Bank Rs 10.1 million, Prime Bank Rs 17.5 million, Sanima Bank Rs 16.8 million and Siddhartha Bank Rs 8.5 million. The donated funds would be spent in a transparent way as procedure has been formulated to operate the Fund, it has been said. The Fund would be used to purchase medicines, medical appliances and provide free treatment to virus infected people.