US repatriating its citizens from Nepal on Tuesday

coronavirus pandemic


KATHMANDU, March 30: The United States is evacuating its citizens stranded in Nepal due to nationwide lockdown on Tuesday.

“A chartered flight operated by Qatar Airways is scheduled for 12:00 noon on March 31. The flight will depart from Kathmandu en route to Doha and then proceed to Dulles International Airport in the Washington, DC area,” the Embassy of US in Nepal stated in a notice.

Although it is now yet known how many US tourists are currently in Nepal, the embassy said that there are more US citizens seeking to return to the US than there are seats on the plane.

“We are already working toward being able to provide a second repatriation flight, but that will likely not be confirmed until Tuesday,” the embassy stated.

As the US has the world’s most infections with 142,178 confirmed cases and death toll doubling over just one week from 1,000 to 2,484, the embassy has prioritized the returning citizens based on the risk.

“First, we will prioritize US citizens at higher risk from the Coronavirus, along with their immediate household family members.  In the case of COVID-19, priority will be given to older adults (65 years and older) and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease,” the embassy stated.

“Next, US citizen minors will receive the next level of prioritization.  A US citizen minor who is traveling with a parent or legal guardian with legal entry status, such as having valid LPR status.

“Third, adult US citizens in need of medical assistance who do not fall into a higher priority group.  And finally, all other US citizens, on a first-come, first-served basis.  We will be using the online form that most of those interested in returning to the US have already completed,” the notice read.

About 900 German, French and tourists from other European Union nations were repatriated on Saturday and Sunday.

The Embassy of Australia is also sending back its citizens on April 1.

Embassy of Australia in Nepal said, “We currently have 407 Australians registered with the Australian Embassy as being in Nepal. We have a further 187 permanent residents. Based on these numbers, the flight will be oversubscribed.”

The embassy is also preparing to make some seats available to New Zealand citizens in Nepal.