As many as 39 more Nepalis living abroad were confirmed to have succumbed to COVID-19 on various dates over the past three weeks, taking the death toll to 486 in 29 foreign countries.

According to Non-Resident Nepali Association, 37 Nepalis died due to coronavirus in Malaysia and one each in Iraq and Uganda during the past three weeks. The latest data released by NRNA yesterday informed that COVID-19 had so far claimed the lives of 486 Nepalis in 29 countries, including India.

The first COVID-19 casualty of a Nepali was recorded in Iraq since the start of the global pandemic last year.

Similarly, a total of 127,934 Nepalis living in 54 foreign countries have tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, 117,529 have already recovered. "The recovery rate is 91.86 per cent," said NRNA health committee coordinator Dr Sanjeev Sapkota.

He said more Nepalis were infected with the deadly virus in Malaysia and India lately.

NRNA appealed to all the Nepalis living abroad to take precautionary measures against the disease by avoiding gatherings and getting inoculated as soon as possible. It has also advised the Nepali community to compulsorily wear surgical masks in public transport and crowded places, while maintaining social and physical distance.

Meanwhile, NRNA said around 100,000 Nepalis stranded in foreign countries were rescued in association with the Government of Nepal and Nepali diplomatic missions abroad from 32 countries and sent home, till date. Similarly, NRNA extended necessary support and relief materials to around 150,000 Nepalis, who were affected by the pandemic abroad. The relief materials included medical equipment and foodstuffs.

More than 2,100 volunteers have been mobilised in 50 countries. NRNA had collected a fund of Rs 120 million from the Nepali community to provide relief to fellow citizens.

As many as 300 bodies of Nepali citizens, who died in various 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 during the pandemic.

Recently, NRNA signed a project agreement with the 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 the UAE.

This initiative aims to collaborate with Nepali missions in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE to provide effective services to Nepali migrant workers affected 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 its bid to provide safe and secure transit services to those wishing to return home.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 2 2021, of The Himalayan Times.