People in Rautahat who recently returned from India are yet to come in contact with local unitsReturnees are reluctant to stay in quarantine, say local authorities.
In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has spread across the world, thousands of Nepalis in India returned home. Every year during the harvest season, Nepalis, especially from the Tarai, move to India for work. This year, they had to cut their time short due to the outbreak which has infected over 800 people in India so far. The Nepali migrants were let inside Nepal with preliminary screening done on various border checkpoints for the virus infection.
Back in Nepal, the local units are requesting Nepalis who recently returned from abroad to stay in quarantine facilities, even if the local units are scrambling to set up the facilities.
Officials at local units, however, say the individuals are reluctant to stay in quarantine. Chief District Officer Basudev Ghimire said that quarantine facilities have been set up in various places including Chandranigahapur and Gaur that collectively house 69 individuals so far. But the number of people who’ve returned from India is more than that, Ghimire said. “Many people are reluctant to report to the officials,” Ghimire said.
“They should be conscious of stopping the virus from spreading in the society. More importantly, they should be conscious of the health of their family members.”
The number of people in Rautahat who migrate to India for work is estimated to be over 10,000. A majority of them are assumed to have returned since the pandemic but officials say they do not have the records. Neither were they properly tested to detect if they carry the virus. Some people have come into contact with the local units and are currently quarantined, the district administration has yet to identify a large swath of returnees. As a result, officials say they are worried that the returnees might have been spreading the virus among their family and society.