A good night's sleep after so long for China evacuees

Published On: February 18, 2020 07:09 AM NPT By: Krishna Kisi

BHAKTAPUR, Feb 18: Nepalis evacuated from Hubei province in China and kept in quarantine at Kharipati , Bhaktapur because of the coronavirus outbreak have said that they had a very good night's sleep on Sunday night after one and a half months.

Amid fears whether they would ever be able to get back home, they had not been able to sleep properly since the outbreak of the virus.

"We would constantly follow the news and that only made us more nervous. People were dying of coronavirus and you never knew if you would not be next. That took away our sleep," said Digambar Khoteja, one of the 175 under quarantine. "Here, we have no worries and everything feels just so great," he added.

Khoteja said that while in China he used to get up several times in the night. Every time his eyes opened they turned to the news related to coronavirus. This went on for over a month. "This is not just mine but everyone's story here. We lived in a kind of trauma," he said.

The sound sleep on Sunday night was memorable for everyone and they were overwhelmed by the government's support, according to the returnees.

Of the total 215 Nepalis residing in Hubei, 185, mostly university students, had expressed their desire to be taken back to Nepal. Among them, 175 were evacuated while four decided to stay back and six others were barred by the Chinese authorities from boarding the evacuation aircraft due to medical reasons.

The Nepal government had initiated the evacuation process two weeks ago. It finally happened on Saturday. They will be kept under medical supervision at Kharipati for 14 days. The fast-spreading epidemic has already claimed over 1700 lives and left over 66,500 others infected across China.

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