No plan to evacuate Nepalis from China

Nepalis need permission from the local government to return

Kathmandu, January 26

The Embassy of Nepal in China doesn’t have any immediate plan to evacuate Nepalis living in Wuhan and across China.

The embassy, however, has discussed evacuation of Nepalis with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We have informed the foreign ministry about the issue. But as the local government in Wuhan needs to give permission, we have to wait even if we plan to evacuate. We need to abide by the decisions of the local government in Wuhan. It will take time,” said Sushil Lamsal, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of Nepal in China, in a telephonic conversation today.

The Nepali Embassy said no Nepali living in China had been reported with coronavirus infection till date.

Lamsal told The Himalayan Times, “We are in constant touch with Nepalis in Wuhan and none are reported to have coronavirus infection.”

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

Nepalis living in China with whom THT talked had mixed opinions about returning.

“I am not sure whether to stay in China or return. Nepal’s health industry is not as developed as China’s and I don’t want other people to get the virus from me. I have to consider the situation before deciding,” said Aayur Phuyal, a bachelor’s level student studying in Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. Phuyal said five of the six gates in his college have been closed to prevent the disease spread.

Dr Sudip Thapa, a PhD student at Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan said, “We are in a country with best facilities. Though I want to come home I can’t at the moment. The situation is not right. We can be carriers of infection. It’s better to stay in China for now.”

According to students, those living in dormitories of education institutions have been given masks, thermometers and hand wash and have been advised to maintain personal hygiene.

“Presently, eight of us are living in our college dormitory. There are 20 other students in the university. None of us have been infected. The university has been recording temperatures of students,” said Dr Gaurab Pokhrel, a PhD candidate at Tongji Medical Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

The embassy in China has been in constant touch with the Nepalis living in Wuhan to keep records of Nepalis living there. “We have been sharing information with the embassy and are in constant touch with officials,” said Pokhrel.