Coronavirus death toll of Nepalis abroad climbs to 200


Five more Nepalis living abroad succumbed to COVID-19 in the past one week, taking the death toll to 200 in 16 countries till yesterday evening.

A press release issued by Non-Resident Nepali Association today said that all new fatalities were reported from the United Arab Emirates. Dr Sanjeev Sapkota, coordinator of NRNA health committee said, “Countries like Japan, Australia and Qatar have experienced a slight spike in COVID-19 cases.”

According to NRNA, as many as 34,939 Nepalis have been infected with the deadly contagion in 39 countries till date. Of them, 32,981 have already recovered. The recovery rate is 94 per cent.

NRNA appealed to all Nepalis living abroad to take precautionary measures against the disease by avoiding gatherings. It advised the Nepali community to wear surgical masks in public transport and crowded places, compulsorily.

NRNA also informed that as many as 56,777 Nepalis stranded in foreign countries were rescued from 30 countries and sent home, in association with the Government of Nepal and Nepali diplomatic missions abroad, till date. As many as 299 bodies of Nepali citizens, who died in countries including Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and South Korea due to various reasons were airlifted to Nepal and handed over to the concerned families.

NRNA President Kumar Pant yesterday held a virtual meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on a project agreement reached with International Labour Organisation, Country Office for Nepal.

The ‘COVID-19 Response to Nepali Migrant Workers for Repatriation and Return Project’ is being implemented in five countries namely Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE.

As a part of the ILO’s Migrant Rights and Decent Work Project, this initiative aims to collaborate with Nepali missions in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE to provide effective services to Nepali migrant workers impacted by COVID-19, provide legal/ paralegal assistance and short-term shelter support for the most vulnerable Nepali migrant workers and support the Government of Nepal in providing safe and secure transit services to those returning to Nepal.

For this collaboration, ILO has agreed to provide financial support of USD 424,310 to NRNA.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.