Days later, Nepal is still “preparing” to airlift its citizens from Hubei province

10 February 2020 I Weeks after other countries evacuated their citizens from China’s coronavirus-impacted region, Nepal is still in “preparation” phase in executing its own evacuation plan.

The country is “preparing” to send a plane to bring home nearly two hundred Nepalese expatriates living in different parts of Hubei province – including Wuhan, the ground-zero of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Sushil Kumar Lamsal, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, has indicated that the Government of Nepal is still working out the nitty-gritty of the evacuation logistics. “We are awaiting instructions from the capital regarding flight details,” Mr Lamsal told today.

Asked what was causing the delay in the evacuation process, Mr Lamsal said the embassy has been advised that the government back home was still making “necessary preparations” for quarantine facilities and other logistics

According to Mr Lamsal, at least 186 Nepalese nationals have contacted the Beijing-based embassy seeking passage back home.

Nepalese media reports indicate that the government is still dragging its feet in putting together a concrete plan to airlift the stranded Nepalese nationals. Families of Nepalese people caught up in Wuhan, mostly students, have lambasted the government for the delay in the evacuation process.

News agency RSS reported today that the Nepal Airlines Corporation is currently trying to free up its A-330 aircraft for the mission.

According to the report, the Nepalese government has put aside 43 beds at three different hospitals in Nepal for people airlifted from China. Just as being practiced in rest of the world, Nepal too would observe the returnees closely for a period of 14 days after they land in the country.

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