A shop in Kathmandu, Nepal. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Kathmandu: As the COVID-19 cases continue to surge, the Nepal Government on Monday late evening announced the decision to extend lockdown till July 22 in its current form.

A Council of Ministers held a meeting on Monday evening and decided to extend the lockdown further in the present format where limited business and activities are permitted to operate.

The government on June 15 had changed the format of lockdown by allowing businesses to open following rules of social distancing, private vehicles on odd and even number basis, and passenger limitations.

"Apart from the businesses, border areas except for the specified will remain closed. The Domestic and International Flights have also been halted except for emergency purposes. Educational institutions, religious places, gym halls, and other places of recreational activities also will remain closed till the new extended deadline," Dr Yubraj Khatiwada, Spokesperson for the Government of Nepal said.

Nepal has been placed under nationwide lockdown since March and lockdown extended nearly half a dozen times since then. On average, 400 cases of COVID-19 infection are reported in Nepal on a daily basis.

On Monday alone, Nepal reported 476 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus with 1 new death taking the total number of cases to 13,248 and mortality to 29 respectively. A total of 3,134 people have successfully recovered from the virus.