Hundreds of Nepalis quarantined in India come home via Sunauli and KrishnanagarAuthorities have coordinated with the respective local units to transport the returnees home.
More than 400 Nepali and Indian nationals who were kept in quarantine facilities returned to their respective countries through the Bhairahawa-Sunauli border point in Rupandehi and the Krishnanagar border point in Kapilvastu on Friday and Saturday.
As per the bilateral agreement of both the countries, the homebound Nepalis were quarantined in Indian territory while Indian nationals on their way home were kept in quarantine facilities in Nepal for the past three weeks. Authorities of both the nations allowed their citizens to return amid tight security and due health check ups.
“One hundred Nepali nationals quarantined in Nautanwa of India entered Nepal through the Sunauli border point on Friday evening and 196 Nepalis crossed the border on Saturday,” said Khadka Bahadur Khatri, the deputy superintendent of police in Rupandehi. According to him, most of the people returning home are from Arghakhanchi and Gulmi districts.
The authorities in Nepal coordinated with the respective local units to manage transportation for the people returning home. Balkrishna Acharya, mayor of Malarani Municipality in Arghakhanchi, reached Bhairahawa with three buses on Saturday morning to take the people home. As many as 34 people were transported to Malarani on Friday evening as well.
“The returnees will be kept in quarantine and will be tested for Covid-19,” said Acharya.
Similarly, 52 Indian nationals who were kept in a quarantine facility near Dandapul in Rupandehi also returned homes. Government officials and people’s representatives of bordering Indian towns welcomed them at the border. The Indian side said its citizens would be kept in quarantine for two weeks before being allowed to go home.
In Kapilvastu, 35 Nepali nationals entered the country through the Krishnanagar border point on Saturday. Rajat Pratap Sah, mayor of Krishnanagar Municipality, welcomed the homebound Nepalis at the border point. Rapid diagnostic tests were conducted on all those who entered Nepal.
“The results of all 35 people came out negative. We will send them home after coordinating with the respective local bodies,” said Sah, adding that the people entering Nepal on Saturday are from Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang and Jhapa districts.
Likewise, Indian authorities also welcomed 36 Indian nationals who were kept in quarantine in Nepal. They had come to take a holy bath in Tribeni of Nawalparasi when they got stranded due to border seals.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of June 2, 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 6,321,836 people with 375,657 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 198,140 with 5,608 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 72,460 confirmed cases with 1,543 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 2,099 cases with eight 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.