Look, this whole thing about coronavirus makes us a bit tired and nervous and we’re sure you feel the same thing. Ultimately, we are not sure what will happen in the coming months. Most of us are going to be OK but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be stressful and difficult. Here, we’ve collected some advice and information for anyone planning to travel over the next few months, or might be planning to travel to Nepal.
As of today 3 July 2020, Nepal has confirmed 14519 cases of COVID-19 and 5320 people have recovered and 31 death, 13 of them in persons who had recently returned from abroad, and 15 Indian nationals residing in Nepal. The first case was confirmed on 24 January in a 32-year-old man who had recently returned from China.
The patient had mild symptoms and was completely recovered by the end of January. The second case was confirmed on 23 March in a 19-year-old woman who had recently returned from France via Qatar. She is being treated at the Teku hospital in Kathmandu. Her family was quarantined at home. On 25 March, the third case was confirmed in a person who had recently returned from the United Arab Emirates.
The 4th case was confirmed on 27 March, the first outside of Kathmandu, in a 34-year-old man who had recently returned from the Middle East. He is being treated at Seti Provincial Hospital in Dhangadhi. The fifth case was confirmed on 28 March in Baglung, in a 19-year-old woman who had returned via Qatar from Belgium. She had shared a flight from Doha to Kathmandu with the patient who was confirmed on 23 March. A woman from Baglung confirmed the sixth case on 2 April. Three new cases were confirmed on 4 April, two of which were men who had recently returned from India and one was a 34-year-old woman, a relative of one of the previously confirmed patients.
This was also the first instance in Nepal of local transmission. Three other cases of Indian nationals stranded of Birgunj district were confirmed on 11 April. On 13 April a 65 year old Kailali woman and a 19-year-old Rautahat man tested Positive. On 14 April, two new cases were confirmed a family from Kathmandu who returned from the UK four weeks prior, on 17 April, 14 new cases were confirmed, 12 of them, Indian citizens of Delhi, quarantined in Udaypur, and two, Nepalis from Chitwan who had returned recently from abroad, bringing the total to 14519 cases.
Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital is the primary designated COVID-19 treatment hospital, isolation wards, makeshift hospitals and quarantine centres have been established throughout the country. Nepal Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu was the only laboratory capable of testing for the disease as of 15 March 2020; laboratory capabilities were later expanded to other major cities.
What is Nepal Government doing regarding COVID-19 virus?
Nepal government is becoming very serious regarding the current Coronavirus issue and spreading the high level of awareness among Nepali people.
Also, at the International Airport the temperature screening (via thermal cameras) and self-reporting has been already implemented. They also have a standby ambulance right there to transport the patient immediately if they found any suspected cases. And they have also restricted flights from China to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
If someone is suspected of having Coronavirus when entering the country, they are put into quarantine for 14 days, and will only be released if the COVID-19 tests are negative.
However, nationals from these countries, willing to visit Nepal can obtain visa beforehand from the Nepali missions abroad. Those applicants and also the nationals transiting from these countries bound to arrive Nepal are required to submit a recently issued health certificate stating that they are not infected by COVID-19 along with their visa applications. The aforementioned health certificate will be scrutinized both at the immigration at the airport in Kathmandu and the land border entry-exit points of Nepal.
Is Nepal safe to travel during this time?
As the above information and data show that Nepal is less risk of Coronavirus and it is good news for those who planned to travel to Nepal. Even in this time we find many foreigners traveling the country and enjoying the beautiful mountains and nature.
It’s not because they’re traveling at their own risk, but the reason is that when you go to the mountain regions where you get less people in contact with the perfect and refreshing atmosphere, and the chance of being prone to COVID-19 is very low (nearly zero).
So, the conclusion is that even in this time, Nepal is safe to travel. ‘ but the thing is you should be fit, healthy and have no symptoms that predict COVID-19 virus.
Please note: The government has suspended regular international and domestic flights until 30 June, 2020.
Regarding Travel Restriction Related to COVID-19:
- The provision of On-arrival visa to all foreign nationals has been suspended for aforementioned period. So you will need to obtain a visa through the Nepalese Embassy/consulate in your country.
- You will need a recent PCR Swab test certificate issued maximum 7 days before arrival to Nepal is mandatory along with visa application and it has to be submitted at the immigration office in the Tribhuwan International airport in Nepal.
- All nationals are subjected to mandatory self/home quarantine for 14 days from the date of their arrival.
Should I cancel my travel plans OR not?
At the time of writing, the short answer is no, probably not.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that your risk of infection remains low unless you are in a region where coronavirus spreads, fly to / from an area where it spreads, or have been in contact with an infected person. The longer answer depends on who you are, where you go, when you go and how you go.
“I personally still plan to go to Europe in 10 days’ time,” says Adventure.com Professor Robert Booy, an infectious disease expert at the University of Sydney. “I feel that the danger [in Europe] is not too high for someone under the age of 60 if you go to countries other than Italy, which actually has the highest rate in Europe.
” Professor Booy states that your personal state should help inform any travel decisions. That means your age, whether you have a chronic medical illness, and whether you are likely to be mixing up in crowds and countries with high levels of transmission.
Wherever you are located it is worth checking your government travel advisory before doing anything for the latest travel advice. So, if you have booked something, the first step will be to contact your airline, tour company, insurance company and ask their advice, then square that with your own research.
[Updated July 3, 2020]