Nepal | July 04, 2020

Nasal, throat swabs collected from 175 evacuees who finally arrive from China

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

We’ve not been allowed to meet our parents or relatives, but that’s normal

Kathmandu, February 16

Government authorities today collected throat and nasal swabs of 175 Nepali nationals who were yesterday evacuated from coronavirus outbreak epicentre Hubei, China, and were sent to Nepal Electricity Authority Training Centre, Kharipati, Bhaktapur, for quarantine today.

National Public Health Laboratory Director Dr Runa Jha said test results would come on Wednesday.

A group of a medical team in protective suits examine Nepali passengers as the Nepal Airlines aircraft returns from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, bringing home Nepali citizens, at Tribhuvan International Airport, in Kathmandu, on Sunday, February 16, 2020. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Nepali nationals were evacuated from six Hubei cities, including Wuhan (55), Enshi (26), Shiyan (29), Yichang (8), Jingmen (9) and Jingzhou (48). Of them, 134 are males and
41 females.

Of the 175 nationals evacuated, 170 are students, one employee, two visitors and two children.

Of the 185 people who had applied for evacuation, four decided to stay back, while six could not board the plane due to medical reasons. A chartered plane of Nepal Airlines brought the Nepalis home this morning.

quarantine Nepalis

Nepal Electricity Authority Training Centre in Bhaktapur, where it has been planned to keep Nepali evacuees from the Chinese province of Hubei for quarantine. Photo: Skanda Gautam/ THT

According to the Ministry of Health and Population, the evacuees would be kept for 14 to 17 days, or longer, in quarantine. Those quarantined should record their body temperature twice a day and should immediately inform the medical team if they think they have any symptoms of COVID-19. The evacuees, however, will not be allowed to meet their parents and guardians during the quarantine period and will be under CCTV surveillance round the clock.

The evacuees expressed relief to be back home. Sandeep Upreti, one of the evacuees who hails from Itahari, thanked the government and all others for their efforts to bring them back. He said facilities provided at the quarantine centre were good and they did not have any complaint.

“We are relieved to be home from such a critical zone,” Upreti said over phone from the quarantine centre. “We’ve not been allowed to meet our parents or relatives, but that’s normal.”

Another evacuee Gaurab Pokhrel told THT over phone, “The government has tried to address all
major issues. Although this is the first time the government has carried out such an operation of this scale, it is better than what we expected. We are happy here.”

Pokhrel said they were more relaxed, could walk around and inhale fresh air. “Mental stress is significantly reduced and we feel safe,” he said.

The Chinese government has imposed a complete lockdown in Hubei province and residents have been asked to stay in their homes to prevent further spreading of the virus.

Meanwhile, the six Nepalis who were barred from boarding the plane for medical reasons have
returned to their respective universities, according to the Nepali embassy in China.

The six include a woman, a girl child and four males. The embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Sushil Lamsal said body temperature of four of the six was found to be higher than normal, while the female and the child were family members of one of the four. Therefore, they all decided to stay back.

Lamsal said everything was fine and the embassy was constantly in touch with them. He said chances of their returning home were slim. “Local authorities have collected medical samples from them and reports will come out tomorrow,” said Lamsal.


A version of this article appears in print on February 17, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

In Pictures: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impromptu visit to Ladakh

KATHMANDU: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Nimu, situated on the banks of river Indus, in Ladakh to interact with Indian troops earlier today. According to the press statement released by the Press Information Bureau of Government of India, he met with the top leadership of the Indi Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 740 new cases, 823 recoveries, one death recorded on Friday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 242,247 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 305,629 Rapid Diagn Read More...

Nepal's Covid-19 recovery rate sees improvement in the last 7 days

KATHMANDU: Nepal has witnessed a relatively significant rise in the number of COVID-19 recovery cases in the last seven days, compared to the past weeks, adding a glimmer of hope as the nation as a whole grapples with the rapidly rising number of positive cases. In the last week alone, as many as Read More...

Buck Moon Eclipse on July 4-5; moon to remain slightly darker than usual full moon

KATHMANDU: The second last eclipse of the year 2020, known as Buck Moon Eclipse, is happening early morning on July 5th, as per Nepal Standard Time. Alas, in Nepal, this event will be missed. The full moon in July is traditionally known as the full buck moon based on the fact that the new buck's Read More...

Two Harry Potter fan sites distance themselves from JK Rowling over her views on transgender

KATHMANDU: Rejecting British author JK Rowling's beliefs on transgender issues, two Harry Potter fans sites with more than one million Facebook followers have distanced themselves from the author. The fans sites — The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet — will no longer provide links to the Harry P Read More...

FAAN aims to resolve Bhuwan-Samragyee issue wisely

KATHMANDU: Nepali actor and producer Bhuwan KC had appealed to the Nepal Chalchitra Kalakar Sangh (Film Artistes Association of Nepal - FAAN) on July 2 for an investigation into the damaging posts about him on social media by actor Samragyee RL Shah. FAAN, confirmed they’d received the letter of Read More...

French PM Philippe resigns as Macron readies reshuffle

PARIS: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigned on Friday ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron designed to bolster his green credentials and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid. The Elysee Palace said in a statement that Philippe would Read More...