Homecomers' influx panics border people in wake of rising COVID-19
January 11, 2022 11:32 AM NPT
MAHOTTARI, Jan 11: With the rising cases of coronavirus infection in various cities of neighboring India, the Nepalis gone there for employment are returning home in large numbers.
The border points at Mahottari district witnessed an influx of people returning home from Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, and Madras cities of India. Although large crowds of people are entering Nepal, no records are maintained on their number.
The people are entering Nepal even via trails. The district shares a 38 km border with India. There are dense settlements on both sides of the border.
Bus transportation is conducted on both sides of the border connecting Matihani, Bhittamod, and Samsi. However, many people are using trails fearing that they would be frisked at the border points.
Lalan Kumar Singh from Manrasiwa Municipality of Mahottari district pointed to the settlement beyond the border and said, "The entry and exit is commonplace here. The village beyond the border is Gorhari of Sitamarhi district of India. I don't think our administration is keeping records of the influx."
Similarly, Pabindra Raya from Halkhori shared that many people were using detours to enter Nepal fearing that they would be checked by security persons at border points. Because of the lack of security checks and coronavirus tests, the spread of coronavirus in the border area is highly likely which has created havoc among the people here.
Moreover, social activist Mohammad Imtiyaj from Samsi said, "Although it is not wise to disallow homecomers, the entry points need to be managed well during a crisis to avoid the spread of the coronavirus." He worried why health desks were not set up at the border points.