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Worried families want swift rescue of their kin from Wuhan



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By Ajita Rijal

Kathmandu, Feb. 7: Parents and relatives of the Nepali citizens currently staying in Wuhan, China, have again asked the government to urgently evacuate their kin and bring them home.
On Thursday, concerned family members gathered at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) premises to remind the government of their demand and submitted a written appeal.
While thanking the government for the concerns and some steps it has taken so far on the issue of evacuation, the family members said they wished to see the concerns translated into action.
They had gathered to re-draw the government’s attention to save lives of their kin, who were impatiently waiting to be airlifted home from Wuhan and other cities of Hubei Province, from where the coronavirus outbreak was reported.
Somila Kakshapati, one of worried women, told TRN at MoHP that her sister Salima was studying MBBS at Wuhan University.
According to her sister, there is shortage of water and face masks in Wuhan. “She and her friends are not infected yet, but they want to leave the city at the earliest possible,” said Kakshapati expressing anger at the slow work pace of the government.
Another relative, Jitendra Yadav, said that his brother Vinaya, an MBBS final year student, was about to complete his degree in next six months. He also said that his brother, who was near Wuhan, had been complaining of water shortage problem.
Among others in the crowd at MoHP included Liladevi Bhattarai whose son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter are now in Wuhan.
Another parent, Krishna Kumari Bhandari, shared she had been having sleepless nights thinking of his son, who is a gynecologist practicing in Wuhan for the last eight years. He shared that the son had invited the parents for a visit, and, in fact, they had their flight tickets for Wednesday but cancelled the trip. The couple’s only wish at the moment is to have their son back home.
Sahana Tamrakar of Lalitpur said her daughter had gone to pursue her MD course. She shared that her daughter had been room-bound and living alone and was afraid as there was no one else to help her. She said she tried to build her confidence by talking to her often.
She felt sad at the government’s slow pace and demanded an urgent evacuation of her daughter.
Earlier, on February 1, a group of Nepali students, currently in Wuhan, Hubei, had written to the Health Ministry asking for immediate help with evacuation, while noting the situation and other problems they were facing there.
In the meantime, the government has been working to determine a suitable location to safely house those that are to be evacuated from Wuhan and discussions are underway to finalise the quarantine locations.
Among the potential places to house the China-returnees are Suryabinayak, Ichangunarayan, Shivapuri and Kharipati.
Around 180 Nepalis from Wuhan, Hubei province, have reportedly registered with the Nepali Embassy in China, expressing their desire to be evacuated and brought back home.
Wuhan city (Hubei Province) is considered the epicenter of the latest coronavirus outbreak, which was first reported in the last week of December 2019. 

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