Coronavirus-Covid-19 in Nepal and Travel Advice (Updated on 7 May)
Coronavirus is a new member of viruses which range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and SARs, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 in Huhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province that’s why the name given to the disease COVID-19. The virus is now spreading globally, resulting in the present ongoing 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms of this disease are including high Fever, Cough, and Shortness of Breathing is the major symptoms of COVID-19. Other symptoms may include Muscle Pain, Sputum Production, Sore Throat, Loss of Smell and Abdominal Pain. And sometimes, it can be severe and may result to death. It can be easily get transmitted from one person to another. And so far, there is no such vaccine yet to cure this disease and is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to viral pneumonia and multi organ failure. As of 28 March 2020, the overall rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.7 percent, ranging from 0.2 percent to 15 percent according to age group and other health problems.
Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 on chart
How to get protected from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Here are some of the ways provided by World Health Organization (WHO) in order to get protected from COVID-19.
1) Wash your Hands Frequently:
Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub (e.g sanitizers) kills’ viruses that may be on your hands.
2) Maintain Social Distance:
Maintaining social distance & avoiding contact with a person is another method to be protected from viruses like COVID-19. Instead of greetings people with a hug or handshake, start with the Nepalese way of greetings (by doing Namaste).
3) Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth:
If your hands are unwashed then, it’s recommended not to touch the sensitive parts like mouth, eyes and nose. The virus may easily transmit through these sensitive organs of Human body.
4) Apply Respiratory Hygiene:
Make sure you and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately (into the dust box/ garbage bin). By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
5) Stay informed and follow advises:
Stay updated with health news or national health authorities to get latest info regarding the spreading of coronavirus (COVID-19) and be alert accordingly.
6) If you have Fever, Cough and Difficulty for Breathing Seek Medical care Early:
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty for breathing or got signs that may predict COVID-19 then do not negligence to seek medical attention and call in advance so that this will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and will help to prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Now, after getting some introductory info regarding CoronaVirus, it’s time to discuss its global impact. So, what is the situation worldwide then?
What are the most affected countries from Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Every day the numbers of infections are soaring and death number are also increasing. Due to easy transfer of virus from one to another person, these numbers keep increasing according with newer countries being added to list.
The countries mentioned above are the topmost countries affected by the Coronavirus outbreak but nevertheless, we’ve many countries other than these which are being affected by the global Corona outbreak. Now, let’s check those countries.
Fig: Countries, territories or area affected by COVID-19 globally.
Before we talk about How safe is Nepal from Coronavirus, let’s talk about the rapid increase in confirmed cases of the latest COVID-19 outside the mainland of China. We found very less confirmed cases till last week of January starting from the Western Pacific region. And now, if we compare the confirm cases from January to present, we will be surprised by seeing the rapid increase in its epidemic curve. Now, why not we check it out with the curve too.
Fig: Epidemic curve showing the rapid increase in confirm cases of Coronavirus globally
Now, it’s time to talk about the latest travel news and update regarding the weird corona virus COVID-19 and its effect in Nepal. So,
How safe is Nepal from Corona Virus or COVID-19?
Currently, the World is badly affected by Pandemic Corona Virus Outbreak. Every single person globally has been afraid due to the easily spreading of this virus which was started from Wuhan, a city in Eastern China. It came into existence since December 31, 2019 and is rapidly increase throughout the World. So far, 215 (till 8 May, 2020) countries are affected by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. Till today’s date, it has been reported that 2,54, 199 people has been already suffered to deaths out of which 29,684 people from Italy, 4,643 people from China, 25,857 people from Spain, 25,769 people from France, 30,076 people from UK, 65,197 people from USA, 6,486 people from Iran, 7,119 people from Germany, 5,204 people from Netherlands, 8,339 people from Belgium, 3,584 people from Turkey, 7,921 people from Brazil and 34,320 peoples are from other parts of the World.
So, here we discussed the global impact of COVID-19 and its update. Also, many of you might be wondering: How safe is Nepal from Coronavirus? Here we will discuss about Nepal too. Let’s start!!
(For new updates on Corona virus situation in Nepal please follow the link: How many people are infected by Coronavirus in Nepal? )
Fig: Data of confirmed death cases in various countries including Nepal.
Till 20th of March, Nepal stands in the list of least affected countries globally with just one confirmed case. It was found in one 32-year-old Nepali student first case who landed Nepal on 5th January from Wuhan University of Technology (situated in Wuhan, China) and has been already recovered. The first case was confirmed in Kathmandu on 24 January 2020. The patient only showed mild symptoms and had been discharged a week earlier with instructions to self-quarantine at home; he was subsequently confirmed to have completely recovered. Between January and March, Nepal took steps to prevent a widespread outbreak of the disease, while preparing for it by procuring essential supplies, equipment and medicine, upgrading health infrastructure, training medical personnel, and spreading public awareness.
Nepal breaking the global records on 23rd March 2020 with confirmed the second case in Kathmandu who travels from France. As of 29 March 2020, three additional cases have been confirmed, including one each in Kailali and Baglung districts unfortunately continuously test became positive (One more new case on 2nd April 2020) person who was traveling from Dubai and belongs to Dhading district. All six confirmed cases have been in people who had recently returned from abroad. The five patients under treatment and reported to be in “normal” condition. A country-wide lock down came into effect from 24 March, and is scheduled to end on 8 April.
And, if we talk about the total suspected cases then, it is 14,509 (till May 7, 2020) out of which 14,408 cases resulted negative and 101 cases tested positive (on May 7, 2020) and 22 has already been cured and return to home .
Also, on February 16, 175 Nepalese students were evacuated from Hubei province in China and were monitored at the quarantine zone in Kharipati, Bhaktapur. After 14 days, they were back to home after the negative tests of COVID-19 virus.
So, till today (7 May, 2020), we’ve ONE HUNDRED AND ONE and TWENTY TWO already been treated well and recovered and SEVENTY SEVEN cases under the treatment. The Government is also becoming very active and doing things very seriously and taking strict actions regarding COVID-19.
What is Nepal Government doing regarding COVID-19 virus?
Nepal Government established help desk and preparation to tackle corona virus.
Since a month, The Nepal Government is becoming very serious regarding the issue of Coronavirus and spreading the high amount of awareness among the Nepalese citizen throughout the country.
From establishing the health-desks at the international airport and closes all border checkpoints with India & China started in mid-January. Land borders with India as well as China were later completely sealed off, also, they have temporarily suspended on arrival visas to Nepal for all countries throughout the World till 30th April 2020 which was effective from 14 March 2020.
Before that they had suspended on-arrival visas for five different countries which has been highly affected by COVID-19 virus (China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan) and took into action from 10 March 2020. Also, few days later the government added up 3 more countries (France, Germany and Spain) in the list due to rapid spreading of novel coronavirus.
Also, they made all foreigners entering the country since 14 March 2020 via TIA are subjected to stay self quarantine for 14 days and also Nepali nationals or NRN (Non Residential Nepali) are kept under home quarantine for 14 days and will be released only if the tests comes negative for COVID-19.
Now, let’s check the latest update issued by the Department of Immigration in Nepal.
Updated Urgent Notice Regarding Travel Restriction Related to Covid-19
As Nepal shares the border with two huge countries, it’s important to keep an eye not only towards the air route but also equally towards the land routes as well. So, they’ve already closed the border point of Tatopani (the famous land route to trade with China) since January 31st, 2020 due to the outbreak of novel Coronavirus. And, as there is an open border between Nepal and India, now they are being strict on people (Indians or third countries nationals) entering the country via land routes through India due to high influence of COVID-19.
Now, they are not issuing travel visas through land routes which were taken into action from 14 March 2020. Before, they had fixed some border points only through which they were allowed to enter Nepal. Also, they were allowed to get their visas (only for third nationals as visa is free for Indians) only after their health check up (check up for Indian nationals too) through either the border points of Raxaul, Sunauli, Karkarvitta, Jogabani, Gaddachauki and Jamunah (Nepalgunj).
Also, the government of Nepal was planning to celebrate the year 2020 as a Visit Nepal Year but now, due to the high risk of COVID-19, they’ve suspended all the promotional events and activities related to Visit Nepal 2020. Now, they’ve started putting hands together for spreading awareness and safety regarding the outbreak of novel Coronavirus.
Also, latterly the government of Nepal has restrict the citizen entering Nepal from all European countries, West Asian countries, Middle East countries including Iran, Turkey, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan in order to protect the country (as much as possible) from the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions is valid for above stated nationals as well as for any nationals using above countries as their transit point to reach the country and took into action from 20th of March 2020 and is valid till 15th April 2020.
Now, let’s check the recent updates & news issued by the Government of Nepal.
Recently all academic examinations were cancelled, and schools and colleges were closed. Quarantine centers and temporary hospitals are being setup across the country. Laboratory facilities are being upgraded and expanded. Hospitals have been setting up ICU units and isolation beds. The SAARC countries have pledged to cooperate in controlling the disease in the region. India, the United States and Germany have increased their support to Nepali health sector.
Finally Nepal cancelled its all international promotional activities related to Visit Nepal Year 2020 as the campaign has been cancelled officially. Its economy is expected to be severely affected by the pandemic due to its impact on foreign employment, tourism, manufacturing, construction and trades.
The high-level of coordination committee decided on last Sunday (29 March 2020) to extend the nationwide lockdown by a week, until April 7 midnight for the first time and the ban on international flights is until April 15 the nationwide lock down was started from 24th March 2020.
The high-level of committee for the control and prevention of Covid-19, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel, took the decisions in view of the rising in the number of new cases of Covid-19.
The Government of Nepal decided to extends lock down again and assigns ministers to coordinate preventive measures with all provinces
The lock down has been extended in light of the three new cases of Covid-19 identified on Saturday and the rising number of cases in neighboring country India.
Amid growing fears of the spread of the COVID-19, the government on Monday decided to extend the ongoing nationwide lock down until April 15.
“The Cabinet meeting held on 6 April 2020 decided to extend the lock down until April 15 midnight as more Covid-19 cases have been increased in the country.
The decision to extend the lockdown follows three more cases of Covid-19, including one local transmission, on Saturday in Kailali and Kanchanpur.
On Saturday (4 April 2020) that three patients—a 21-year-old man from Kailali who had returned from Mumbai, a 41-year-old man from Kanchanpur who returned from Uttarakhand,India and a 34-year-old woman from Kailali, a relative of a person who had earlier tested positive for the disease Covid-19.
The Covid-19 tally in Nepal so far has reached one hundred & one till now. The Second stage my god !
Is Nepal safe to travel during this period?
Well, as the information and data above prove that we’ve very less risk of getting Coronavirus and its very best news for those who wish to travel this Himalayan country. But we suggest you to postpone your trip for next month or for next Season as per the latest condition of the world and even Nepal is in lock down since 24th March 2020 to till 15th April 2020. In this period of time, we’re finding many foreigners are traveling back to the own country who were Stranded in Nepal due to the lockdown, who was here to enjoy the beautiful nature and mountains.
We say ‘Yes, Nepal is safe to travel but from next season not in this period” and you should be fit, healthy and don’t have any symptoms that predicts COVID-19 virus.
Also, if you talk about the present state then we’re just afraid of the horrible situation created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak throughout the World and also, don’t want to take a risk for our valuable guests.
As you could see we’ve the risk only from imported cases mostly and it’s already started getting minimized by the action and strictness of Nepal Government in TIA and other border points. So, what’s the conclusion?
You’ve read the article. It is your turn now! What do you think about it? How safe is Nepal from Coronavirus? Leave us your thoughts on Corona Virus, its consequences, suggestions and way that your country is tackling with this outbreak.
Note: The above data of confirmed and death cases of COVID-19 with few images has been taken from the latest report published by World Health Organisation (WHO).