Nepal’s statistical agency is preparing to conduct the national population census from May 9 despite the coronavirus pandemic, an official has said. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), a government-owned body under the National Planning Commission, has already concluded training for the facilitators, supervisors and surveyors for the purpose and is mobilising around 55,000 volunteers and surveyors for the census that takes place every 10 years. The agency is spending Rs 4 billion to conduct the census this time. The ongoing corona pandemic is not going to affect the national census, said a senior officer at the CBS.
“Even if there is a lockdown, the census wouldn’t be affected much since only one surveyor would reach a family and the interview can be conducted outside the home in an open space by maintaining social distancing,” Hem Raj Regmi, Deputy Director-General of the CBS told The Rising Nepal, the government-owned English daily.
“We are providing health safety equipment like sanitiser, face shields and masks to the surveyors who are mobilised in the field. Unless there is a complete shutdown, the census won’t be affected much,” he pointed out. Nepal on Thursday reported 152 new cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the national infection tally to 277,461. The country’s death toll stands at 3,031.
As per the 2011 census, Nepal’s population was more than 26 million. A decade after the last census, Nepal’s population has been estimated to be over 30 million.