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Expedite reconstruction campaign with confidence: PM Oli

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KATHMANDU — Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday called for expediting the reconstruction campaign with confidence.

At a program held at Swoyambhunath, PM Oli conceded that the reconstruction could not accelerate even a year after the massive earthquake and pledged not to delay it anymore.

“People are facing difficulty and deprived of facility, so I have instructed the concerned authority for ramping up the reconstruction campaign,” PM Oli said, and stressed further, “Let us all work for it with confidence so that we can rebuild and develop the country.”

He said rebuilding around 800,000 houses destroyed in the earthquake was a difficult challenge even if the government extended the grant, hence needing a plan for construction of communal shelter.

The PM added that the sluggish start of the reconstruction work is to be blamed also on the delay in the formulation of laws. He expressed belief the overdue work would gain pace citing that reconstruction was already underway in more than 10 districts.

PM Oli also called for preserving the historical art, religion and culture that are the ‘wealth of our belief‘.

Archaeological Department Director General, Bhesh Narayan Dahal, said the cost-estimate for reconstruction of the Swoyambhunath was set at Rs 17.1 million. The budget is for reconstruction of five heritages and 24 Pujari Ghars (houses for the priests).

The Anantapur, Dev Dharma Mahabihar and Tanshigorma Mahachaitya built by Pratap Malla, the then King of ancient Kantipur, were damaged during the earthquake.

Swoyambhunath Management and Conservation General Committee Chairman, Sarwagya Ratna Tuladhar, said the government should prioritise reconstruction of the cultural monuments.

Senior leaders of the four major political parties would launch the reconstruction work in four important heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley to mark the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake.

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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