BEIJING, Feb 3: Five Nepali students who were returning home to Nepal have been held at Beijing airports Friday on suspicion of coronavirus infection. The students were flying to Nepal from two airports in Beijing. Amid alarming coronavirus updates, this is the second time Nepalis were barred from flying out of China. Earlier, Chinese authorities had barred one Nepali student from returning home from Wuhan, the epicenter if coronavirus, on suspicion of being infected.
On Friday, four of the five students were stopped at Daxing Airport as they were about to board a Himalaya Airlines plane and one student was held at Capital Airport.
One of the students held at the airport is from Janakpur. Talking to Republica, the student, who is male, said that he was held after fever was detected in him. He is a fifth year MBBS student at Hebie University in Hebie province. He said that the Chinese officials quarantine passengers whose body temperature is above 37.1 degrees Celsius. “The thermometer showed my temperature was 37.4 degrees Celsius,” he said.
“The test was done before passengers headed to collect their boarding passes. I was denied permission to fly,” he said, adding that he had slept for just four hours due to travel hassles, which could have ‘elevated the temperature’.
Although he was denied a permission to fly, the airport officials did not give him any guidelines on what to do next or where to go, the student lamented. Amid confusion, he roamed in the airport till Friday night. “Neither did the airline told anything about whether my ticket would be refunded. Later when a Nepali embassy official talked to the airline, they agreed to refund,” he said.
He said Chinese doctors have told him to go to the hospital if he was not feeling well. “Or else go to some safe zone,” he quoted the doctors as saying. He then stayed at a hotel.
Likewise, another Nepali, a female student of Bejing Language and Culture University, has been kept in isolation under medical supervision for 14 days. She was also held at Daxing airport. “Doctors have not told me anything clearly. Yet, they said I will be kept under observation for 14 days,” she said. “After 14 days, let’s see what will happen, then I will decide whether I would go to Nepal or not,” she added.