No Nepali living abroad ‘died of COVID-19’ last week

Kathmandu, August 16

No death of Nepalis living abroad due to the coronavirus was reported last week, said Non-Resident Nepalis Association today.

A press release issued by the NRNA from London said it recorded zero death of Nepalis living abroad in the past week. The number of Nepalis diagnosed with COVID-19 in foreign countries has also gone down significantly in recent days.

According to a tally of fatalities and infections compiled by the health committee of NRNA, as many as 191 Nepalis living in 14 foreign countries have succumbed to the COVID-19 and 33,392 Nepalis tested positive for the deadly virus.

Dr Sanjeev Sapkota, committee coordinator, said more than 83 per cent of Nepalis had recovered from the disease. A clinically recovered COVID-19 patient should test negative for the virus twice in the gap of at least 24 hours.

“Though India, Spain, Belgium and Saudi Arabia witnessed spike in the COV- ID-19 cases, many other countries have reported a decline in the cases of the contagion,” read the release.

Nepalis have been exposed to the virus in 38 countries and territories abroad.

NRNA said it had compiled the data of COVID-19 cases and fatalities on the basis of information received from Nepali doctors working in various hospitals, its country chapters and other organisations.

NRNA said rescue of Nepalis stranded abroad was under way. It informed that as many as 51,453 Nepalis were rescued and sent home from 30 destination countries except India till date, in association with the Government of Nepal and diplomatic missions abroad.

It also said bodies of 246 Nepalis, who died in foreign countries due to various reasons, were airlifted to Nepal and handed over to the concerned families.

Final rites of 172 persons were performed in the concerned destination countries, with consent of the grieving families back home.

As many as 76 bodies have yet to be managed. NRNA has warned that the decision of the government to rescue maximum 500 persons per day from the destination countries was likely to worsen the situation of thousands of Nepalis stranded abroad.

“The decision will further delay rescue of Nepalis waiting to return home for months and has poured cold water on the enthusiasm of many of the citizens stranded abroad, mainly in the Middle East countries due to expiry of their visas amid COVID-19 crisis,” said Badri KC, NRNA vice-president and coordinator of the Foreign Employment Committee.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 17, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.