Authorities keep an eye on returnees from India and third countries

Published On: March 25, 2020 10:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KHOTANG, March 25: Jantedhunaga Municipality of Khotang has urged 40 people who recently returned home from different parts of India to self-quarantine. They had visited local health desks for confirmation whether they are infected with the novel coronavirus. According to Pawan Pokharel, health department coordinator of the rural municipality, they looked normal and did not have symptoms of fever or cough. “So they have been sent home. They have been advised to observe self-quarantine for 14 days and are under our monitoring,” he said. 

Huge numbers of people from Khotang are employed in India. Usually, they would come home only during Dashain or major festivals. But they got anxious to come home at this time due to the rapid spread of novel coronavirus across the world. Amid rising cases of infections, India has followed different prevention measures. In Nepal, the government has announced a weeklong lock own.

Local units have set up health desks at border areas and elsewhere though their numbers are reportedly inadequate. According to Pokharel, those who have already entered Nepal should be handled with care and caution and that is what the rural municipality is doing. “Health desks have been set up at Chisapani, Banshilaghat and Bhanjyangkharka. All are major entry points to the district,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep things under control, we have kept an eye on the returnees,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Halesi Tuwachung Municipality has reported that youths returning from abroad, most of whom are migrant workers, are also being closely monitored. 

Talking to Republica, Mayor of the municipality Iwan Rai said that the details were collected from their houses only. “All the youths who recently returned from abroad are being closely monitored. Their details, we collected from their homes only,” he said. “Concerned ward chairperson and health personals have been coordinating for this. We have asked the returnees to abide by our guidelines; which is necessary for safety amid this unexpected spread of coronavirus,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the rumor that a man from Khotang was boarded on the same flight with the girl student whose coronavirus test came positive and got registered as the second coronavirus case in the country, has turned out to be false. After the man from Chyasmitar village of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality – 3 showed his ticket that read the flight number – 644 as he returned to Nepal, everyone has felt relieved.

According to Deputy Mayor of the municipality Bimala Rai, the rumor has triggered panic among people. “The flight of the girl who has been tested coronavirus positive and the man from here were not in the same flight. But initially, everyone got wrong message and started getting panicked,” she said. 

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