Nepal to conduct quarantine checking at India border crossings

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Kathmandu: The Nepali government has decided to conduct quarantine checking of people at over 30 border crossings with India as the New Delhi government has confirmed 31 c, a senior official from the Ministry of Health and Population said.

Nepal shares a porous border with India and the people can travel without a visa.

“The government’s high-level coordination committee formed to tackle the epidemic decided to conduct the health screening at over 30 border crossings between Nepal and India amid rising cases of a novel coronavirus,” Bikas Devkota, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, told Xinhua news agency on Thursday evening.

The Nepali government formed the high-level coordination committee last week under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel.

Devkota said that the Nepali government had already started conducting health screening of people at six major border crossings between the two neighbors including Birgunj and Rupadiya.

“Now, health screening will be expanded to other border crossings.”

He said that as a lot of Nepalis go across the border for shopping at bordering Indian towns, there is a risk that they may be exposed to the novel coronavirus.

He, however, admitted that the Nepali government lacks the sophisticated equipment to be stationed at the border crossings.

“We are going to mobilize 3-4 health workers in each border crossing in a day or two with infrared thermometers,” Devkota said.

The Nepali government has made it mandatory for all passengers to undergo health screening at Tribhuvan International Airport, the country’s only operating international airport, in Kathmandu.

Movement of goods and people has been halted through the two key border points between Nepal and China as well for more than a month.

The country has so far confirmed one COVID-19 case. According to Devkota, five people have been kept in isolation after they were identified to have a fever at the international airport.
March 6 (IANS)

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