NHRC urges govt to promptly evacuate students from China

Published On: February 10, 2020 07:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 10: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Sunday urged the government to evacuate Nepali students stranded in Wuhan of China without any further delay.

An emergency meeting of the human rights body made such request to the government after a group of relatives of the students stranded in China approached the commission urging it to take initiatives to evacuate their loved ones from the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak.

Over 180 Nepali students living in Wuhan have been eagerly waiting to return home since a couple of weeks.

Despite their frantic pleadings for help, the government has not yet initiated the evacuation process. Worried about the health of their wards, the family members have been urging all the authorities concerned – the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of the Prime Minister – to evacuate the students immediately.

Unconvinced by the promises made by the government, they reached the NHRC headquarters seeking a prompt action. The commission has summoned secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health to brief the commission on the progress made toward evacuating the students from the virus-affected areas.

“Nepali students wishing to return from Wuhan are frustrated due to government inaction. The students are on the verge of mental breakdown citing lack of daily food items and other essentials in their areas,” reads the statement issued by the NHRC, adding, “They are confined to their rooms and have been desperately awaiting help from the authorities in Kathmandu since the last two weeks.”

Those evacuated need to be kept in isolation for 14 days even if they do not show any symptoms of coronavirus infection. Experts have advised taking precautions stating that coronavirus infection could be asymptomatic in some cases.

After nearly a week-long consultations, the government has arranged quarantine locations at four places – Shivapuri, Ichangunarayan, Suryabinayak and Kharipati. But the authorities have not said anything about when stranded students will be evacuated from Wuhan.

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