Swine flu panic prompts influx of Nepali workers from India

MAHENDRANAGAR: Owing to the fear of A (H1N1) influenza that has claimed 28 lives, Nepali blue-collar workers have started returning Nepal from various Indian towns via Gaddachauki border.

Hordes of the Nepalis those working in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, among other towns, have been returning their homes from the past few days. Such trend has seen a surge especially after news of deaths by the global pandemic.

“The number of Nepali workers entering Nepal via Gaddachauki border point has been increasing,” said a security personnel deputed at the border point.

And the mass influx of Nepalis has also created a terror among local residents of Kanchanpur district fearing the swine flu. Their fear has been compounded as hundreds of Nepalis go to Indian bordering towns for manual jobs and shopping and return in the evening.

The district has been pronounced a “high risk district” from the A (H1N1) threat. Though a health desk has been established to screen the flu patients, the health workers deployed have not been doing it effectively due to the lack of required instruments.

Instead of efficient health check-up and screening of the suspected swine flu patients, the Kanchanpur District Public Health Office has provided a recorded cassette to the Gaddachauki customs point in an attempt to spread awareness. The cassette is played

three times a day there,

but the busy people hardly find it intelligible and pay attention to it.

More than a hundred Nepalis travel via the customs point.

Chief of Kanchanpur DPHO, Shivadutta Bhatta, said, “We haven’t got the required instrument to check and establish whether a person is infected by the flu virus. Except for enquiring, we haven’t been able to do anything more.”

He said that the Health Department was already informed of the prevalent condition.