BEIJING, Feb 2: Some 170 Nepali nationals residing in Hubei province of China have applied for evacuation in the wake of coronavirus outbreak that has already killed 304 lives, one outside China, and 14,500 confirmed infected, since first reported in late December last year.
According to the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, some 170 Nepalis living in Hubei have responded to the Nepal government’s plan for evacuation, which the embassy had noticed through a circular on Saturday, and the embassy said “applications are being verified now”.
The embassy is planning to charter a flight to carry them back to Nepal once the verification is complete.
Although more than 300 Nepalis living in and outside the Hubei have applied for evacuation, the embassy is planning to evacuate those living in Hubei only.
China has placed a lockdown in all cities of Hubei, including the epicenter of the outbreak Wuhan, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Despite the containment efforts, the virus has spread 24 countries, with the Philippines the first country to report a death outside China on Sunday.
However, it is yet to decide where the Nepali evacuees will be quarantined for two weeks.
According to Spokesperson at Health Ministry Mahendra Shrestha, the government has identified 18 training centers and some public buildings but has yet to decide where to quarantine the evacuees.
“A building will be fixed soon. Once we decide that, the Nepalis will be flown back. It may take one or two days,” he said.
Nepal has confirmed one case of coronavirus infection and has made ready isolation wards in Shukraraaj Tropical & Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku and Patan Hospital.
To avoid the spread of the deadly virus, Nepal has also imposed a travel ban on travelers from China and its autonomous regions.