Protesters in Nepal End Hunger Strike After Their Government Agrees to 12 Demands

Nepal will now step up its COVID-19 response after protesters went 12 days without food.
July 8, 2020, 2:09am
Nepal’s COVID-19 Protests End After Government Agrees to 12 Demands
Caption: Protestors Iih and Pukar Dam broke their fast this morning at HAMS Hospital, Kathmandu. Photo courtesy of COVID-19 Enough Is Enough / Facebook

This article originally appeared on VICE India

On Monday, Nepal's government agreed to address 12 concerns raised by young protesters, ending their 12-day hunger strike. They were protesting against the country's poor response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, representatives of the Enough is Enough movement said that they had come to an agreement, which the government has committed to carrying out within a week.

Among the 12-points is an agreement to begin using PCR testing for anyone entering the country, while stopping the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests, which have been reportedly less accurate. Nepal will also now test at-risk individuals who are asymptomatic, along with anyone exiting quarantine.

Nepal, a country of 28 million people, is nearing over 16,000 cases of COVID-19 as of July 8. The Enough is Enough protests, first mobilised on social media, began June 9. The movement has since spread to various parts of the country.

On June 26, a few of the protestors went on to stage a hunger strike at the Patan Durbar Square—a popular tourist spot in the capital city—and promised to fast until the Nepal government met their demands. Two of the movement’s leaders, Iih and Pukar Bam, were moved to HAMS Hospital, Kathmandu on Friday after their health deteriorated, while fellow protestors Sudan Gurung and Subani Sijapat called off their strike.

Prior to the protestors reaching an agreement with the Ministry of Health and Population, Prime Minister KP Oli also paid them a visit over the weekend. He assured them that all their demands will be met.

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