BEIJING, Feb 2: The Government of Nepal has decided to evacuate Nepali nationals currently residing in the Hubei, a landlocked province in central China, according to the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.
China has placed a lockdown across the province since late January, including the epicenter of the outbreak Wuhan, effectively sealing off more than 50 million people to contain the deadly coronavirus, which has already killed 304 people, with 14,500 confirmed cases.
However, the virus has already spread to 24 countries despite the containment efforts.
The Philippines reported first death on Sunday outside of China from coronavirus mounting the global threat, many countries have imposed temporary restrictions on travelers from China and its autonomous regions.
The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Israel banned foreign nationals from visiting if they had been in China recently and warned their own citizens from traveling there.
Mongolia, Russia and Nepal have closed their land borders, while Papua New Guinea went as far as to ban anyone arriving from ports or airports across Asia.
Japan, Britain, Germany and other nations had already advised their citizens not to travel to China.
However, the WHO, which declared the outbreak a global emergency on Thursday, has warned that closing borders was ineffective in halting transmission and could accelerate the virus’s spread.
“In the context of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, the Government of Nepal has decided to evacuate Nepali nationals currently residing in the Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China,” stated the embassy in a press release.
“The plans for a special chartered flight are being worked out, and details will be shared as soon as they are available.”
“Only those individuals who intend to go back to Nepal on the planned chartered flight should fill-up this form. Please be advised that, if you fail to fulfill this requirement, except as a result of pre-embarkment health check-up at the airport, the applicant will face consequences as per law,” the press release further reads.
“The particulars of the chartered flight will be arranged based on submissions made by Nepali nationals willing to go back to Nepal.”
“Please be advised that properly filled-in forms should be submitted to the above email address no later than 09:00 AM on 2 February 2020. Late submissions will not be entertained. To avoid confusion, please refrain from spreading this notice on unrelated WeChat groups.”
“Every passport holder should fill up a separate form. The forms for minors should be filled up by one of the parents and sent together in one package.”
“For any clarifications or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Embassy @ Mobile: 1570 12857 63.”
Nepal is the latest country to decide to evacuate its citizens from China.
South Korea and India flew hundreds of their citizens out of Wuhan and sent them to a two-week quarantine this weekend.
Indonesia flew back 241 nationals from Wuhan on Sunday and quarantined them on remote Natuna Islands for two weeks.
On Friday, the US evacuated its 195 nationals and ordered their quarantine.
Germany also took 120 German nationals back to Europe.
Meanwhile, students from outside Hubei has started traveling back to Nepal in fear getting stranded like those in Huebi and to avoid the deadly virus infection.
According to sources, one student from Tianjin, a city near Beijing, and 13 students from Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Friday.
Last week, 14 students from various universities in Beijing arrived in Nepal.
According to a report, there are about 150 Nepali nationals living in Wuhan and other parts of Hubei province. However, there is no official figure of the number of students living in China.