Evacuees from Hubei to reach Nepal tomorrow

Kathmandu, February 14

The government will send a plane tomorrow to Wuhan to bring Nepali students back from Hubei province, the epicentre of coronavirus. A total of 185 Nepalis from the province will reach Kathmandu on Sunday, according to the Nepali Embassy in China.

“Students will be evacuated from Wuhan (62), Jingzhou (50), Enshi (27), Shiyan (29), Yichang (8) and Jingmen (9). Five buses will pick Nepalis from these cities at 5:00am (China time) tomorrow. Nepalis will reach Wuhan Tianhe International Airport at 6:00pm (China time). A chartered Nepal Airlines Corporation aircraft is scheduled to land at the airport at 9:00pm (China time),” Sushil Lamsal, deputy chief of mission at the embassy, told THT over phone.

According to a notice issued by the Ministry of Health and Population, preparations for evacuation and quarantine have been completed. It added that the evacuees would be kept for 14 to 17 days, or longer, in quarantine in Nepal Electricity Authority Training Centre, Kharipati.

According to the health ministry, the evacuees will stay in 60 rooms, with six persons sharing one restroom. Those quarantined should record their body temperature twice a day and should immediately inform the medical team if they have any symptom of COVID-19. There is also a provision for psychological counselling in the centre.

Throat swab of the evacuees will be taken within 24 hours after they reach the place of quarantine. Another test will be done on the 14th day, adds the ministry.

“Three pilots, six crew members, an engineer, a loadmaster and a health team comprising a doctor, nurses and paramedics from Nepali Army will be flying to Wuhan to bring Nepalis home,” said Archana Khadka, spokesperson for NAC.

The wide body national flag carrier will take off at 2:45pm (Nepali time) tomorrow and land at Tribhuvan International Airport at 2:15am on Sunday.

The evacuees will have their health examined at the airport. Those having no symptom of COVID-19 will be taken to Kharipati, while those showing symptoms of the disease will be taken to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Patan Hospital or Armed Police Force Hospital, Balambu.

“The health team deployed to Wuhan will stay in Kharipati for 14 days, while the crew will be quarantined in Telkot for at least 14 days,” said Col Mahesh Kumar Thapa of Public Relation Directorate, Nepali Army.  From airport, the evacuees will be taken to Bhaktapur in five double-cabin buses so that drivers won’t come in contact with the evacuees.