Nepal will go on a lockdown for a week starting from today amid concerns over the spread of novel coronavirus.
The lockdown will remain in force till March 31, The Nepali Times reported.
The decision comes hours after a second coronavirus case was confirmed in the country.
This would be a much stricter stay-at-home order that would bring all movement to a halt and also close all government offices, businesses and shops. All remaining domestic flights and public transport will also stop, and it will bar people from moving about unless it is for medical reasons or to buy essentials.
The country was already partially closed after all international flights were stopped after Sunday, all intercity buses were banned and the border with India and China sealed. However, hundreds of Nepalis who were prevented from crossing the border into Nepal on Monday were finally allowed in after a temperature test.
There are still doubts about whether food shops, vegetable vendors and others will be allowed to function, since most families do not stock up on food and have to buy essentials from one day to the next.
The lockdown means the whole country will effectively be under curfew for a week. An estimated 1.5 million people have left Kathmandu for their home districts. The hardest hit will be daily wage earners in urban centres.