KATHMANDU, March 25: The government has decided to allow Nepali nationals stranded along the Nepal-India border because of the lock down to enter Nepal for just this once on Tuesday.
A large number of Nepalis, mainly migrant workers, were stranded at various entry points on the border with India because they had no prior notice about the border being sealed. The government sealed the borders with both India and China from Sunday in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus into Nepal.
A meeting of the high-level coordination committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel decided to allow the stranded Nepalis to enter the country for the last time on Tuesday.
According to Communications and Information Technology Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, the Nepalis who enter must stay in quarantine for 14 days . They also need to submit identity papers and documents showing their nationality before they can enter. “On the condition of their undergoing mandatory quarantine, it is decided to allow all Nepali citizens stranded on the border east to west to enter for the moment after verifying their nationality,” said Khatiwada after the meeting.
The provincial governments are being asked to arrange mandatory quarantine in coordination with the local governments for those entering Nepal .
Realizing that many Nepali nationals abroad are panicked because of lack of proper communications from the Nepali missions concerned, the government has asked Nepal's embassies to circulate the decisions of the government to Nepali nationals . The high-level committee has also urged Nepali communities abroad to contact the embassies if they need any assistance.
The committee has also decided to use helicopters to bring swab samples from across the country for Covid-19 tests in Kathmandu. “Until the setting up of lab test facilities outside the Teku laboratory, the government has decided to use the fastest means of transport to bring the swab samples to Teku,” said Khatiwada.
The government has decided to extend Coviod-19 test facilities to Dhukikhel Hospital, BPKHIS Dharan, Pokhara Health Science Academy, Bheri Hospital in Nepalgunj and Bir Hospital here in Kathmandu. The committee has extended its thanks to the people for staying at home following the government's lock-down decision.