Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tourists, Workers Stranded As India, Nepal Seal Border Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Nepal has been under a complete lockdown for the past week after five coronavirus cases emerged in the country. With the lockdown, thousands of tourists have been stranded after the government suspended international flights.

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Not just tourists, there are local people who are stranded as well. Officials have said that the Nepalese stranded in Darchula, Nepal, adjoining Uttarakhand, India, will not get entry into the country at this time. Nepal government has clarified that until the time of lockdown is over, they will not allow anyone to enter Nepal.

Chief District Magistrate of Darchula district, Yadunath Podel has said, “We cannot open borders and let anyone come here. This is necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus.” According to reports, about 500 Nepalese citizens have assembled to go to their village towards the border of India adjacent to Darchula.

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Nepali citizens studying and working in India have also urged the Government of Nepal to rescue them and get them back. Since the lockdown was suddenly imposed in both the countries, people did not have time to go to their homes and thus have been stranded.

To check the spread of coronavirus in India, a complete lockdown of 21 days was imposed from 25 March. On the other hand, Nepal also locked the entire country for a week from March 24 after confirming two cases of corona infection.

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Later the Nepal government extended the lockdown for another week. According to the World Health Organization, there have been a total of five cases of corona infection in Nepal with zero fatalities. 

The Embassy of Nepal, present in India, issued a mobile number for its citizens stranded here (+91 892 960 1925) and said that if any Nepalese stranded or struggling for medicines or food can contact the embassy directly.

However Nepali students say that “it is a pity that no one picks up the phone when calling”.

Hari Prasad Odari, consular at the Nepal embassy in Delhi, says, “No one is allowed to travel during the lockdown, so people should stay where they are. The embassy will help them in arranging their stay and food. “

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He says, “Nepali people from all over India are calling us and we are also being requested in social media to help them in getting people to Nepal, but we cannot help them right now.” The embassy has said that they are receiving calls from several places including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Punjab, Bengaluru, Rajasthan, Jammu Kashmir, Kullu-Manali.

He says that the Embassy officials are in constant touch with the Government of India to collect information about the people whose jobs have been lost due to the lockdown and those who are stranded.

All borders of Nepal with India and China have been sealed to prevent corona from spreading. Since then, many citizens of Nepal have gathered together on the Indian border.

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