Nepal | July 07, 2020

Govt still unprepared to bring back Nepalis

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 22

After the government imposed the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, Nepal Airlines Corporation has conducted several chartered flights to repatriate stranded foreign nationals from Kathmandu to various destinations.

However, in another demonstration of government apathy all the flights returned empty even though hundreds of Nepalis want to return home.

It is an irony that even though those Nepalis who are stranded in foreign lands are ready to pay for their flight, the national flag carrier is not able to bring them back and has had to return empty.

According to Archana Khadka, spokesperson for NAC, the corporation cannot take any initiative until it receives permission from the government to bring back Nepalis.

“Till date, we have conducted seven chartered flights for passengers and seven cargo flights, but all were conducted under special circumstances,” she said, adding, “In fact, the government has restricted all flight operations till June 14.”

To bring back Nepalis, the government has to take a policy-level decision or give us special permission to conduct chartered flights for them, she added.

“NAC chartered flights were conducted at the initiative of respective embassies. Either the government has to change its policy or Nepali embassies and missions have to take the initiative to evacuate Nepalis,” Khadka added.

Till date, NAC has conducted passenger flights to Australia, India, Japan, Maldives and Bangladesh. On June 8, the national flag carrier will be flying to Canberra, Australia, carrying foreigners from several countries stranded in Nepal.

When asked why Nepalis were not being brought back to the country, a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeking anonymity, said the government was yet to make full preparations to bring back Nepalis into the country. “It’s not only about the benefit for NAC or our people from Australia, Japan and other countries who want to return home,” the source said, adding, “It is also about managing those who return.”

Although the government is making preparations, quarantine facilities, health check-up services and other essential services have not been ramped up yet, the source said.

“The government still lacks facilities to bring back such a large number of people. It is preparing to bring them on need basis. However, no decision has been taken yet,” the source added.

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

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal Covid-19 Update: 180 new cases, 264 recoveries, one death recorded on Monday

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, 255,728 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 311,724 Rapid Diagn Read More...

Hotel Soaltee refutes reports on premises being sealed, operations running says GM

KATHMANDU: Hotel Soaltee Crown Plaza Pvt Ltd has refuted media reports of the hotel being sealed after placing Nepal Airlines staff in quarantine, including the aircrew that tested positive for Covid-19. Talking to THT Online over the phone, the hotel's General Manager Upaul Majumdar said, "The Read More...

Nearly 40 suicide deaths reported amid COVID-19 lockdown in Tanahun

DAMAULI: Thirty-nine persons have died by suicide in the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown, which was imposed on March 24, in Tanahun district. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Arun Poudel, of the 39 cases, in 35 persons died by hanging. Meanwhile, three cases of death were by intention Read More...

China's SinoVac starts late stage trials for its COVID-19 vaccine

LONDON/BEIJING: China's SinoVac is starting Phase III trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine, it said on Monday, becoming one of three companies to move into the late stages in the race to develop an inoculation against the disease. It will start recruiting volunteers this month, it said in Read More...

Protecting the Economically Vulnerable Population

Kathmandu, July 7 What started as a health crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic has now unfolded into a global economic and livelihood crisis. While the ubiquitous quarantines and lockdowns may have saved many lives and provided an additional benefit of  environmental improvement, their e Read More...

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane own goal gives Spurs win over Everton

Keane own goal gives Spurs win Mourinho secures 200th Premier League win Son and Lloris have halftime bust-up LONDON: An own goal by Michael Keane proved the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat visitors Everton 1-0 in a dour clash on Monday to move up to eighth in the standings an Read More...

Actor Depp takes on UK tabloid in court battle over 'wife beater' claims

LONDON: Johnny Depp begins legal action against a British tabloid on Tuesday in a case that is likely to delve into the private lives of the Hollywood star, his ex-wife actress Amber Heard and a number of other well-known figures. Depp, the 57-year-old star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" f Read More...

Yanqi-Nepal meet China’s bid to keep NCP united?

Kathmandu, July 6 China’s Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi yesterday met Madhav Kumar Nepal, a senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), raising eyebrows as the meeting took place at a time when the internal rift within the NCP is heading towards a climax. Nepal’s former perma Read More...