Nepal | August 13, 2020

Around 35,000 Nepalis repatriated from 25 travel destinations so far

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, JULY 27

Starting from June 11, the government has repatriated a total of 35,185 Nepalis stranded in different countries, specifically in Gulf countries, due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

According to COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC), Nepalis from a total of 25 countries have been evacuated so far.

Among them, the highest number of 7,785 Nepalis have been evacuated from the United Arab Emirates, followed by 5,611 Nepalis from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, 5,549 Nepalis have been repatriated from Kuwait. As per CCMC, most of the returnees from Kuwait were under the initiation of the Kuwaiti government.

The Kuwaiti government had sent back Nepalis who had received the general amnesty. Over 2,000 Nepalis have returned from Kuwait on the expenses of Kuwaiti government while others have paid for their chartered flights.

After Kuwait, Malaysia and Qatar are the fourth and fifth destinations from where maximum number of Nepalis have returned. As per CCMC, a total of 5,333 Nepalis from Malaysia and 3,941 from Qatar have returned home under the repatriation campaign of the government.

Besides these countries, Nepalis have also returned from Afghanistan, Australia, Oman, Myanmar, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Bahrain, the US, England, Israel, China, Turkey and Philippines.

Amid this, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) evacuated a total of 265 passengers and one dead body from UAE today.

Although the government has announced that international flights will be resumed from August 17, the schedule for more repatriation flights has been confirmed, said Raj Kumar Chhetri, spokesperson for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Earlier, the flight schedule for second phase of repatriation was prepared from July 15 to 21.

“The next phase of repatriation has been scheduled from July 31 to August 8,” he said, “As per the need of the passengers, flights have been scheduled again in coordination with the embassies.”

As per Chhetri, between July 31 and August 8, NAC and Himalaya Airlines will be conducting 18 flights each, while foreign airlines will be conducting a total of 18 flights.

While all the scheduled flights are focused on bringing home the stranded migrant workers, if needed flights from other countries can be scheduled with permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CCMC, he said. He further added that the flight schedule may differ based on the number of passengers returning home.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 28, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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