180 Nepalese in China demand an early evacuation as the number of deaths from coronavirus increases to 361
KATHMANDU: A total of 180 Nepalese, mostly students, who live in China have approached the embassy of the country in Beijing, demanding its immediate since they fear contracting the novel that has claimed more than 360 lives and infected thousands of people in the neighboring country.
The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the central province in December, killed 361 with 57 deaths reported on Sunday, while the number of confirmed cases increased to 17,205. The Philippines reported on Sunday the first death outside of China because of the epidemic that has spread to 25 countries, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia.
In China, all deaths have been reported in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus outbreak. The virus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 31.
A total of 180 Nepalese citizens, mostly students, currently living in 17 cities in China, including Wuhan de Hubei, have registered their names at the embassy, expressing their desire to return home, Sushil Kumar Lamsal, deputy chief of mission in The Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, was cited by The Kathmandu Post.
Around 120 Nepalese from other Chinese provinces also want to return, Lamsal said.
The embassy has received 59 applications from Nepalese living in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei. Nepalese living in five other cities in Hubei have also asked the embassy to transport them by plane to Nepal .
As of Saturday evening, we have ascertained the names of 180 Nepal is living in Hubei. We have also apprised the Chinese government of our evacuation plan. As soon as the government decides to evacuate them, we will take the next step. We need to work on logistics to bring everyone to Wuhan airport in protective gear, Lamsal said.
The Chinese government has assured assistance in the evacuation of Nepal is from Wuhan, where Nepal i officials won't be visiting as the city is under lockdown, the diplomat said.
Nepal Prime Minister said on Sunday that the government had finalized places where Nepal is could be kept after their evacuation from China.
We have made arrangements to bring Nepal is back from China, Oli said.
All of these applicants are students, except three who are children, Lamsal said.
Those who have filed applications will be sent to Nepal on Wednesday evening via Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. A chartered corporation aircraft will be used to airlift them, Lamsal told.
As for those who have not contracted the disease, we will have to assure the Chinese government that they will be properly quarantined before being sent home, officials said.
Many in Nepal fear that homes could become potential incubator for rapid spread of the disease if the government releases those evacuated from China without keeping them in quarantine facilities to ascertain they have not contracted the virus.
The government has said it will quarantine evacuees for two weeks before sending them home.
Bangladesh, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and the United States have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan. More countries are evacuating or planning to evacuate their citizens.