Government to evacuate Nepalis from Hubei

Kathmandu, February 1

The government has decided to evacuate Nepali nationals residing in Hubei Province, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

Issuing a notice on the website of the Embassy of Nepal in China today, the embassy asked Nepalis living in Hubei to fill up forms and submit them in the embassy’s email The embassy has said the forms should be filled properly and submitted to the embassy’s email no later than 09:00 am (local time, China) on 2 February 2020.

According to the embassy, every passport holder should fill a separate form. The forms for minors should be filled up by one of the parents and sent together in one package.

As per the embassy, there are 105 Nepalis in Wuhan and about 8,500 across China.

“Plans for a special chartered flight are being worked out. The particulars of the chartered flight will be arranged on the basis of submissions made by Nepali nationals willing to go back,” reads the notice.

Earlier, in an event held in the capital today, Yogesh Bhattarai, minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said two planes were on standby to evacuate Nepalis living in China. “Two planes — one of Nepal Airlines and another of Himalaya Airlines — are on stand by to evacuate Nepalis living in China. The process for evacuation is going on,” said Bhattarai.

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Applicants have to fill forms clearly mentioning, “I am fully aware that I will have to undergo quarantine requirements as determined by the authorities concerned upon arrival in Nepal.”

However, the government has not framed any quarantine decisions yet.

Doctors have been saying persons returning from China should be placed under quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading to family members and the community. For this, persons should be monitored for 14 days.

“We are yet to decide on quarantine of people returning from China. Options are being looked at,” said Mahendra Shrestha, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population.

France, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan. More countries are evacuating or planning to evacuate their citizens.

The spread of the deadly coronavirus has prompted the World Health Organisation to declare a global health emergency.

At least 259 people have died and 11,791 people have been infected in China. More than 20 countries have now been affected.