By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Dec. 3: Arrival of both Nepalis and foreign nationals to Nepal from nine different countries have been restricted until further notice from Thursday midnight after new variant of the Coronavirus, Omicron, started surging around the globe. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the travel restriction was imposed on the passengers arriving from Hong Kong (China), South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
“Those, who have already been to several transit routes waiting for their arrival to Nepal, however, must stay in the government recommended quarantines and isolation centres at least for seven days,” Secretary Maheshwor Neupane for the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers told The Rising Nepal. According to Neupane, those who arrived by Thursday night should stay in the hotel quarantine for seven days at their own expenses.
Not only citizens of the infected countries but also passengers coming through transit routes and passengers coming after spending three-week holidays should also abide by the government’s rule, he added. Similarly, the Ministry of Health and Population has been instructed to identify the additional countries, which are at risk of COVID-19 and its mutant variant, and provide necessary information to the Department of Immigration to issue travel advisory and not to issue on-arrival visas, said Secretary Neupane.
Arrangements have been made for those with diplomatic missions and urgent works to stay in hotel quarantine for seven days at their own expenses. The Home Minister has also stated that such people will be examined through RT PCR method. Neupane said that arrangements were made to send the positive report of the passengers to the government-designated hospitals.
The government has decided to increase the existing capacity for gene sequencing testing as well, he said. Travel history of the passengers will be kept, and the samples of the positive ones will be collected through 'gene sequencing' test method. The government has urged Nepali citizens not to travel abroad unless they have urgent works.
Government employees and various government and non-government delegations are also required to obtain prior approval before traveling abroad. Urging all citizens to get vaccinated free of cost, they have also been asked to maintain social distancing at weddings and festivals.
Regular health desks have been set up at the Tribhuvan International Airport and border checkpoints with neighbouring countries, he informed. The Ministry of Home Affairs has urged the public to pay special attention to the regular use of face masks, mandatory crowd control, social distancing and the use of sanitizer.