First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: In recent days cases of people being infected with the coronavirus has been rising stupendously. And there is no doubt now that the contagion has spread at the community level.
However, even during such difficult times the country’s banks and financial institutions (BFIs) have done the best they can to provide uninterrupted services to their customers but there has always been a risk attached to that commitment. As per bankers, more than 3,000 staffs engaged with various BFIs along with their family members have contracted the virus.
Though the government has appealed to those who have been infected to stay in home isolation many bank employees have been unable to arrange separate rooms at home for isolation as most of them living in the valley are staying in rented accommodations and they do not have the luxury of extra rooms.
Realizing the gravity of the situation the central bank has also directed the BFIs to arrange isolation facilities for employees who have been infected with the coronavirus. As per Nepal Bankers’ Association (NBA), for employees who cannot arrange isolation rooms at home the banks themselves are doing the needful.
Bhuvan Dahal, president of NBA, informed that the banks have been bearing the cost of the PCR test of those employees who show symptoms of the virus and have also been urging staffs to seek the banks’ help if they need an isolation facility. Dahal, who is also the chief executive of Sanima Bank, said that the banks have been arranging hotel quarantine facility for employees who do not have enough rooms at home for the purpose. “The banks are bearing all the cost,” he added.
According to him, the NBA has been proactive in managing the hotels and laboratories for the PCR test of the bankers. “We have contacted different labs and hotels and tried to find out the details of the expenses that will be incurred and circulated the information to all the BFIs,” said Dahal.
Bankers have said that at times there are problems in arranging hotel quarantine facility as hotels too are a bit hesitant to accommodate infected people. If there are no hotel rooms available then the staffs are admitted to private hotels, said Dahal.
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