175 Nepalis airlifted from Wuhan, six blocked from boarding flight


KATHMANDU, Feb 16: Nepal has finally evacuated its 175 citizens from coronavirus-hit Hubei province of China on Sunday.

A chartered Nepal Airline Corporation (NAC) flight airlifted 175 Nepalis, including 170 students, one employee, two visitors and two children, from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, which landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu today morning.

According to the Embassy of Nepal in China, 55 Nepali citizens from Wuhan, 26 from Enshi, 29 from Shiyan, eight from Yichang, nine from Jingmen and 48 from Jingzhou cities boarded the flight from Wuhan. Of them, 134 are male and 41 are female.

They were assembled at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport via six separate vehicles.

A total of 185 Nepalies had applied for evacuation. However, four of them decided to stay back in China whereas six could not board the plane due to medical reasons, the embassy stated.

“The Embassy of Nepal, Beijing expresses its sincere thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China for its support and co-operation in facilitating the process of sending back the Nepali nationals. The Embassy also expresses its profound thanks to the Civil Aviation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CAAC), Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) of the Hubei Provincial People’s Government of China, the concerned Universities of Hubei Province, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, and the local transport authorities of Hubei for their valuable support and co-operation extended to the Embassy in the process,” the embassy stated in a press release.

The death toll from the new coronavirus in China rose to 1662 on Sunday, with more than 68,000 infected since the virus emerged in December and spread across China and some two dozen countries.

The evacuees have been sent to a quarantine zone arranged in Kharipati in Bhaktapur, where they will stay in isolation for 15 days.

The government has arranged 199 beds at the four blocks of the Nepal Electricity Authority Training Center.

Four health professionals, three pilots, seven crew members, an engineer, a technician and a helper who were involved in the evacuation will also be quarantined at the National Drinking Water and Sanitation Training Center in Changunarayan-6, Lamatole in Bhaktapur for two weeks.

The men, women and the medical teams have been separated into three different buildings inside the training center.

One room includes at least two to three beds at a distance of at least one meters, including intercom telephone facility. They will be continuously monitored during their stay at the quarantine and will be shifted to the Shukraraj hospital or Patan or Armed Police hospital in case they are suspected of carrying the coronavirus.

The people in the quarantine will not be allowed to meet with their family members or outsiders. However, the visitors’ room will provide information about the people in the quarantine for the family members and relatives. A media room has also been established outside the quarantine premises.

A round-the-clock joint security provision has been made, with the control room overseeing the center. The security team is also working to spread awareness in and around the vicinity to quell any misconceptions about the quarantine.

Photos: Rss