Nepal | July 02, 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:

In Pictures: Tourism workers raise their voice

Kathmandu, July 01 Members of Paryatan Majdoor Sangharsha Samiti (Tourism Labour Struggle Committee) voice their concerns for tourism-related employment, in the wake of coronavirus ciris hitting the tourism industry hard, in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, July 01, 2020. Read More...

Young adults receive health materials in Bajura's rural municipality

BAJURA: As many as 280 girls and boys have received health and safety materials in Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality of Bajura district. The materials were provided by Mahila Bikas Manch (Women Development Forum) in coordination with the local level. Krishnaa Dani, Programme Coordinator of Read More...

Mastermind behind explosion at ex-minister Baskota's house arrested

BHAKTAPUR: A man suspected to be the main conspirator behind the bomb blast carried out at the under-construction house belonging to former Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, has been arrested. An improvised explosive device (IED) went off at the house on Read More...

NC leader Gagan Thapa meets with youth activists staging Satyagraha

Kathmandu, July 1 Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa met with youth activist Iih, who along with other campaigners, has been staging Satyagraha for the last six days in Mangalbazaar, Patan, without drinking water or eating food, demanding accountability and effective handling of Coronavirus crisi Read More...

COVID-19 Update: 482 new cases, one death recorded on Wednesday

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, 233,227 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 300,620 Rapid Diagn Read More...

PM KP Sharma Oli visits Gangalal Heart Centre for routine check-up

KATHMANDU: Amid tensions escalating in ruling Nepali Communist Party (NCP), party co-chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today visited Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre to get himself checked. It has been learnt that PM Oli went to the hospital for regular health screening. According th Read More...

Absconding convict arrested after 22 years in Tanahun

TANAHUN: Police have arrested an absconding person involved in a road accident after 22 years of being convicted, on Tuesday. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Yuvaraj Timilsina of District Police Office, Tanahun, said that Laxman Shrestha, 50, of Shuklagandaki Municipality-3 was arrested fro Read More...

Covid-19 cases continue to escalate in Kathmandu, 10+ cases reported two days in a row

KATHMANDU: The number of coronavirus-infection cases in Kathmandu valley are slowly but steadily rising, with the case count exceeding 10 two days in a row. With the confirmation of 17 new cases in the last 24 hours, the valley's case tally has hit 122 on Wednesday. The number of additional ca Read More...