KATHMANDU, April 1: As the risk of coronavirus infection has increased lately, the government has made it mandatory to wear a mask and furnish COVID-19 negative test certificates at the border crossing with India in the Far West Province.
Hemraj Joshi, contact person of the Sudurpaschim Province Health Directorate, said that masks and COVID-19 tests have been made mandatory at the border crossings for the prevention and control of the COVID-19.
COVID-19 infection is seen among Nepali citizens returning home from India. He said, “Since the number of infected started to increase daily, we have made it mandatory to wear masks and COVID-19 negative test certificates for those entering Nepal from the border.”
According to the Directorate, health check-ups are continuing by establishing health desks at Jhulaghat, Pulghat, Jauljivi, Gaddachouki and Trinagar crossings in the far west bordering India. In order to prevent the infection from reaching the community level, the health examination of those returning to the country at the border has been tightened.
Joshi said that since the infection is spreading rapidly in India, its effects are being felt in Nepal as well. He said, "After most of the returnees from India started showing infection, we have tightened the prevention and control measures." Since the beginning of March alone, 62 people who returned from India have been infected in this province.
The risk of COVID-19 has also increased lately at the community level, which is witnessing the corona infection on a daily basis during the testing at the border crossings. As this province is close to the cities where the infection has been reported in India, there is a high risk of the spread of COVID-19.
Similarly, as the Nepali New Year is approaching, there has been an increase in the number of people returning to the country at all the ports here. Joshi said that as the number of people returning to the country is increasing, the risk has increased and they are allowed to come only after testing at the border and the infected have been asked to stay in home isolation in coordination with the concerned municipality.
According to Joshi, health checks at the border crossings have also been tightened, and the vaccination campaign has also been continued along with increasing the risk.
The Directorate said booster doses are being administered to all those above 55 years of age throughout the province. As the rate of corona infection has increased lately, local authorities have urged people to adopt health safety standards. According to the directorate, it is requested to follow the public health standards to avoid the virus infection.
Infected Indian nationals sent back
An Indian citizen, who was about to enter Nepal from Jhulaghat border crossing, was sent back to India after the corona infection was confirmed.
Yogesh Prasad Bhatta, Head of the Health Office, said that a 58-year-old man from Pithoragarh, India, who was about to come to Nepal, was sent back to India through the border crossing after the corona virus was confirmed.
According to Chief Bhatta, the man who was coming to participate in the Tripurasundari Jatra in Dasharathchand Municipality-8 was not allowed to enter Nepal after he was found to be corona positive.
He said, 'Infected people are not allowed to come to Nepal because they can spread the infection to other people after participating in the Jatra.”
The Health Office in Baitadi mentioned that after the corona infection was seen among Indian citizens, the cross-border movement through Jhulaghat crossing has also been tightened. After the COVID-19 infection started to appear, a new rule has been introduced to those returning home from Jhulaghat crossing to undergo a COVID-19 test and wear a mask mandatorily.
In the Sudur Paschim Province, a total of 645,634 people have been tested for COVID-19 so far. Of them, 61,946 people are found to have been infected with the virus. A total of 635 people died because of COVID-19 in the province.