Stranded Tourists To Get Help, Goods To Come From Up North

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The Rising Nepal

Kathmandu, Mar. 26: The government Wednesday decided to facilitate the foreign nationals stranded in Nepal due to the travel restriction enforced by the government to contain the Coronavirus (Covid-19) to return to their countries.
A meeting of the High Level Coordination Committee formed to prevent and control the outbreak of the Covid-19 held this afternoon decided to airlift the stranded foreigners from various parts of the country and help them to fly back to their countries from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Briefing the media after the meeting, Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, who also looks after the portfolio of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, said if the airlifted foreigners failed to meet the timing of the flights from their respective countries, they would be kept in quarantine in the hotels near the TIA.
They would be kept in their own expenses, he added.
“The government will extend the visa of the foreigners who could not return to their countries,” said Minister Khatiwada.
To avoid the possible scarcity of the essential goods, the meeting also decided to start transporting goods from Rasuwagadhi and Tatopani border-points by following the health protocol issued by the Ministry of Health and Populations and Ministry of Agriculture and Livelihood Development.
The meeting also decided to continue all the banking services with the coordination of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and Ministry of Finance.
The vehicles delivering essential goods like medicines, food items, water, dairy products, fruits, vegetable, livestock, fisheries and chicks could move freely, but they would not be allowed to carry passengers, he said.
The companies responsible for producing medicines and gas bottling plants should make arrangement of vehicles to carry their staff members and the MoHA would issue permit paper for them.
To make the grocery items easily accessible, the meeting also asked the big stores and supermarkets to start home delivery service. The MoHA would issue permit to them to use vehicles to transport goods, said Minister Khatiwada.
As a preventive measure to limit the virus spread, the committee also asked the shops selling dairy products, vegetables, fruits and groceries to take measures like avoiding crowd, asking customers to maintain social distance and wear masks and also make availability of sanitizer.
In case of emergency, the MoHA, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Ministry of Commerce and Supply would transport essential goods via flights, he added.
To avoid the possible scarcity of fuels, the committee decided to encourage people to use induction stoves by providing discount on customs and power tariff.
The committee also instructed the local units to keep record of the people who have recent travel history.
“The local units will keep the detail records of those with the recent travel history and inform the Chief District Officer (CDO) about their health condition on a daily basis,” Minister Khatiwada added.
“The CDO of the respective district will update the National Emergency Executive Centre about the health condition of those individuals on a daily basis.”