News Alerts

31 Aug 2020 | 10:08 AM UTC

Nepal: Authorities extend domestic travel restrictions until September 16 /update 22

Nepal News Alert

Nepalese government extends long-haul public transport and domestic flights restrictions until September 16; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/31/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kathmandu). COUNTRY/REGION Nepal

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Event

Following a cabinet meeting on Sunday, August 30, the Nepalese government announced that long-haul bus services and domestic flights will not be permitted to resume until September 16. The decision was made in light of the rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country. These methods of transport were previously due to resume on August 17, before the restrictions were extended until Monday, August 31. However, the restrictions have once more been extended after Nepal recorded its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths on Sunday, August 30, with 1221 new cases and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Despite the extension of restrictions to domestic travel, chartered and regular international passenger flights are still set to resume on Tuesday, September 1. However, initially only Nepali nationals and representatives of diplomatic missions, the United Nations, and development partners will be permitted to fly into Nepal until further notice. Those arriving will be required to show a valid Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test showing negative for COVID-19 taken within the past 72 hours. Nepal's land borders remain closed to foreign nationals until at least September 16.

A nationwide lockdown was lifted on July 21 and thereafter district administrators have been responsible for imposing their own measures to control the virus based on the infection rate in their area. Following a spike in cases, on August 18 lockdown measures were imposed in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley, originally for one week but have since been extended until Wednesday, September 2. Under the lockdown, all non-essential movements and services remain prohibited.

As of August 31, health authorities have confirmed a total of 38,561 COVID-19 cases, with 221 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized. 

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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