180 Nepalis in China request to return home

Kathmandu: At least 180 Nepalis, mostly students, have approached the country’s Embassy in Beijing, asking it to evacuate them from Hubei province, where the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak originated.

The embassy in Beijing on Saturday issued a public notice, asking Nepalis in Hubei to fill out a form if they wish to return to Nepal, reports The Kathmandu Post.

“A total of 180 Nepali nationals, mostly students, currently living in 17 cities in China, including Wuhan of Hubei, have registered their names with the embassy, expressing their desire to return home,” Sushil Kumar Lamsal, deputy chief of mission at the Nepali Embassy in Beijing, told The Kathmandu Post on Sunday.

“Around 120 Nepalis from other Chinese provinces also want to return.”

Officials in Kathmandu, however, are in a fix, as there is a lack of quarantine centres where every China returnee needs to spend 14 days, which is the incubation period.

Government officials were yet to ascertain how many planes they will need to ferry the stranded Nepalis.

They were also trying to figure out whether to send Nepal Airlines planes or charter Chinese planes.

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Sunday said that the government had finalised places where Nepalis could be kept after their evacuation.

But Health Ministry officials told The Kathmandu Post that some places were under discussions but they were yet to take a final decision.

As of Monday, the death toll cue to the coronavirus in China rose to 361, with 17,205 confirmed cases, according to the National Health Commission.

More than 152,700 people are under observation, among which there are a total of 21,558 suspected cases.

In South Asia, India has confirmed two cases, while Sri Lanka one.

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