COVID-19: Nepali immigrants bearing brunt of outbreak effects

Suraj Bhandari, KATHMANDU: Nepali nationals currently living in the United States (US) have immoderately come across adversaries due to widespread outbreak of COVID-19 lately. A Nepali national has recently lost his life to coronavirus infection while others tested positive are undergoing treatment.
Currently around 500,000 Non Resident Nepalis are living in the US. Owing to the adverse effects of the pandemic, some of them have lost their jobs while many others are found worrying of their life and livelihood.
Mainly the students with part-time jobs are bearing the brunt of the epidemic since they had to quit their jobs – the only source of income for study and livelihood – with the shutdown of business outlets here
However, the federal and state governments have reportedly focused their preparation to announce relief package only to the US card holders which does not cover the students with non-resident category. It has disappointed the students for not being listed as the recipients of relief package.
Along with the students, Nepali workforce involved in different business sectors such as departmental stores, gas station, restaurant, hotel beauty parlor, saloon, real state, IT business, engineering and legal consultancy have also faced the fury due to COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent enforcement of lockdown in some of the states.
NRNA Northern America sub regional coordinator Ram C Pokharel shared that Nepali nationals involved in restaurants and hotels sectors are being badly affected from COVID-19 threat. Similarly, Nepalese Chamber of Commerce US chair Bal Joshi shared Nepali people residing here are facing tough time with the global economy grappling with crisis due to COVID-19. Some states have imposed lockdown which has resulted in complications for the immigrants to eke out livelihood, Joshi added.
Meanwhile, NRNA US and Canada have launched awareness raising programmes against corona virus spread. NRNA US chapter chair Sunil Sah shared that they were urging Nepalis to adopt precautions to keep infectious coronavirus at bay. Likewise, NRNA Canada chair Chiranjeevi Ghimire shared that no Nepali nationals among 60,000 NRNs in Canada have tested positive for coronavirus till the date.
Nepali ambassador to US Dr Arjun Karki and Nepali ambassador to Canada Bhrigu Dhungana shared that the Nepali embassies have kept well communication with Neplai people living in the respective countries. They said that the embassies were working best to reach their services and suggestions to the Nepali immigrants there. RSS

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