CCMC tasked to manage returnee Nepalis

Kathmandu, May 22

As the government is mulling over bringing back vulnerable Nepalis from foreign countries in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) has been given the responsibility to manage such people who return to the country.

The meeting of Council of Ministers today sought necessary guideline from CCMC to manage Nepalis who return from abroad. Under pressure from different quarters, government is planning to bring home vulnerable Nepalis from abroad, especially from various migrant destinations.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also directed the government to bring back vulnerable Nepali migrants from foreign destinations.

“As we are planning to bring home Nepalis who are living in vulnerable conditions in foreign lands, CCMC has been assigned to prepare the necessary guideline to manage such returnee Nepalis,” informed Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. “Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has sought options from the centre on how those who return can be managed.”

The Cabinet meeting of March 29 had set up the CCMC in order to develop information system, human resources and other resources to combat the COVID-19 induced crisis. The committee is functioning under the High-level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 and is coordinated by Narayan Prasad Bidari, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, while-high level Nepali Army officials are members of the centre.

“The process to bring back vulnerable Nepalis will gradually start after CCMC prepares required management guidelines,” added Gyawali.

As per government officials, priority will be given to women who are pregnant, those who are facing food and accommodation problems, and also workers who have been fired by their companies. Priority will also be accorded to those who have lost their jobs due to various reasons and those who were living illegally but have been granted amnesty.

Sources also informed that discussions at today’s Cabinet meeting was also held on making arrangements to keep such returnee Nepalis in quarantine facilities that will be set up at the local levels.

Meanwhile, the government also plans to allow those who want to come back at their own cost and stay in quarantine at their personal expense. For such returnee Nepalis, the government plans to allow them to stay in quarantine in different hotels.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.