Coronavirus — Large Numbers of Nepalis Abroad Infected

  • Many Nepalis are reluctant to disclose their health status, so the actual number of infected people may be higher.
  • The rate of infection among Nepalis is decreasing outside, the president of the association Kumar Pant told reporters.
  • The Association has welcomed the decision of the government of Nepal to repatriate Nepalis from abroad.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that a large number of Nepalis living abroad were now infected with the coronavirus. Some 14,454 Nepali nationals living outside India and other South Asian countries have been infected with the coronavirus so far.

The first case of COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed in Nepal on 23 January 2020 when a 31-year-old student, who had returned to Kathmandu from Wuhan on 9 January, tested positive for the disease. As of June 12, there are 4,614 cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths in Nepal.

According to the Non-Resident Nepali Association, 127 of them have died. Many Nepalis are reluctant to disclose their health status, so the actual number of infected people may be higher. However, the rate of infection has been increasing in Nepal for some time now.

The rate of infection among Nepalis is decreasing outside, the president of the association Kumar Pant told reporters. “The extent to which the state is controlling and preventing foreign countries, especially in European countries, the United States and Japan and South Korea, is the result of a decrease in the number of Nepalis living there,” Pant said.

According to the association, the infection rate among Nepalis has dropped by 75 percent this week compared to the previous week. The association also said that most Nepalis have died in the UK. “Initially, the highest number of deaths were in the UK and in the United States. Now it has increased in large numbers in the Middle East as well, ”Pant said.

Nepalis living in 34 countries have been infected, and Nepalis have died in 13 countries, he said. “Everyone is receiving good treatment. Because it is a contagious disease, it is possible that every country is treating everyone without any discrimination.”

As the infection is increasing rapidly in India, it is believed that a large number of Nepalis may be infected there. But statistics are not available there. Officials say most of the infected people found in Nepal are Nepalese returning from India.

Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, more commonly known as KP Sharma Oli, is a Nepalese politician and the current Prime Minister of Nepal. Oli previously served as prime minister from 11 October 2015 to 3 August 2016 and was the first elected prime minister under the newly adopted Constitution of Nepal.

Hope for Repatriation

The Association has welcomed the decision of the government of Nepal to repatriate Nepalis from abroad. “For the first time in 74 days, the government has repatriated 26 Nepalis from Myanmar and 168 from the UAE. The association is going to urge the government of Nepal to make the repatriation process of other Nepalis returning to Nepal from abroad,” the association said.

According to President Pant, the distressed workers in the Middle East, and Nepalis who have reached Europe or the United States for various work, are especially eager to return home. A group of Nepali women who returned from Kuwait this week has arrived in Kathmandu.

“Even so, there will be check-ups here and there as well, and when they return, the infection is unlikely to increase,” he said. However, the association has expressed concern that the government of Nepal has made it mandatory for returnees to report that there is no infection in the PCR test.

“Getting a coronavirus-free certificate by PCR testing is complicated even abroad,” he said. Instead, it would be appropriate for Nepal to accept reports of fever and X-rays as adopted by other countries, ”he said. He said that the airlines were accepting the fare as usual and the association was also providing assistance as per the need.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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