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16-days of quarantine period over, evacuated Nepalis seen off

Ramesh Giri and Sabin KC, KATHMANDU: The 175 Nepalis evacuated from corona virus-hit Chinese province of Hubei and quarantined at Kharibot in Bhaktapur have been bade farewell today after their health was tested fairly well. They were quarantined here since February 16.

Their isolated stay came to an end after the result of their throat and nasal swab test conducted on their 14th day of quarantine-stay came negative, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.

State Minister for Health and Population Nawaraj Rawat and team comprising government officials reached the quarantine facility to see them off today.

While all those in quarantine facility expressed their happiness over testing negative for the coronavirus infection, some were seemingly sad for having to depart with the people they formed friendly or family-like bonds during their 16-days of harmonious cohabitation in the quarantine facility.

A student said their stay in the quarantine facility was well organized and comfortable and their isolated stay was filled with merriments against what he had earlier presumed. “I was initially little apprehensive about the quarantine facility. But my entire impression changed as I saw and experienced the impeccable management put in place in the quarantine facility,” he confessed.

According to him, they would sing, dance and make merriment. Other than that, they were involved in various sports activities during their quarantine period. Furthermore, he shared that the management for food and accommodation was flawless while the care takers were at their beck and call who would get them the goods they needed in no time.

Also, they were in constant touch with their families and friends through telephone which contributed in enabling a worry-free environment both for the quarantined persons and their families. “I feel like I got a new lease of life as we flew to Nepal and arrived in the quarantine facility. My love for my country increased manifold ever since I touched down the soil of my country,” another person admitted in a mixed tone of poignancy and jubilation.

He recalled that they would regularly exercise, play indoor and outdoor games as well as chitchat with fellow persons during their quarantined stay. He described the environment inside the quarantine facility to be homely and all other fellow evacuees as friendly and akin to own family members.

Most of the evacuees were, however, were dismayed that many of the locals in Kharipati were apprehensive about setting up quarantine facility in their locality, fearing that they would contract the flue-like infection that has claimed over 3000 lives so far in more than 60 countries across the world.

Most of the causalities are reported from China’s Wuhan, epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak. The World Health Organizations has renamed coronavirus, the global health threat, as COVID-19.

The evacuees argue that if the concerned authorities had timely launched an awareness campaign about COVID-19, the locals here would not oppose the idea of setting up quarantine neither would they fear contracting infection nor would they flee their locality.

As they say, the end justifies the means, the evacuees were happy that the locals vanquished their fear of COVID-19 and finally returned to their homes.

Another medical student evacuated by the government of Nepal from China along with 174 others said, “Wuhan is the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak. China is going through a tough time to control coronavirus outbreak. Our government should not have a relaxed attitude towards this infection. It’s imperative our government takes preventive measures. “

Nepal Army’s (NA) Captain Dr Nabin Phuyal, who medically attended to the evacuees in the quarantine facility, was equally happy for all the evacuees testing negative in the test for coronavirus and going back to their homes.

Happiness was clearly visible in the face of NA’s Bir Battalion’s Chief Colonel Shiva Poudel too as none of the evacuees tested positive for coronavirus.

Colonel Poudel, who oversaw the security of the quarantine facility, chimed in, “We left no stone unturned to provide the best facilities for the quarantined people. We all are very happy to see them return to their homes safe and sound. ” RSS

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