Supreme Court refuses interim order to government for the entry of Nepalis stranded at the borderBench issues show-cause notice and invites both parties for a discussion on Monday.
The Supreme Court has refused to issue an interlocutory order to the government for allowing in Nepalis stranded at the Nepal-India border due to the closure of crossings as part of the lockdown on both sides over coronavirus fears.
Hundreds of Nepalis have been stranded at several international border points. They are demanding the government allow them to enter and have agreed to stay in quarantine facilities.
A single bench of Justice Hari Krishna Karki refused the interim order but issued a show-cause notice to the government while inviting both parties for a discussion on Monday.
“Considering the sensitivity of the writ petition, it would be better to take a decision regarding the interim order only after discussing [the matter] with both the parties. Make necessary arrangements for next hearing on Monday,” states the court’s decision.
As many as six lawyers from Sudurpaschim Province filed a petition at the top court on Wednesday demanding an interim order to the government, arguing that the authorities cannot stop Nepali workers from returning home.
A total of 26 advocates had pleaded in favour of the petitioners stressing the possibility of Nepalis living on the Indian side of the border facing misbehaviour.
“Lawyers have also pleaded that Nepalis are dying to reach their homes and they could also be mistreated there,” said advocate Manish Kumar Shrestha, one of the writ petitioners. “We are disheartened by the court’s decision as a large number of Nepalis have been urging the government to allow citizens to enter the country.”
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of May 30, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 had spread to 213 countries and infected more than 6,029,950 people with 366,802 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 173,491 with 4,980 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 64,028 confirmed cases with 1,317 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 1401 cases with six deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.