Kathmandu: In a drastic move to curb the pandemic COVID-19, the Nepal government on Thursday late night has decided to suspend all kinds of tourist visas for all nationals and Non-Residential Nepali excluding diplomatic and officials visas till the end of April.
Nepal earlier had suspended on-arrival visas for eight countries including three European countries -Germany, France, and Spain. Dr. Yubraj Khatiwada-Finance Minister and spokesperson of the government said that the list of COVID-19 infected countries of the EU and the Middle East is being finalized at the moment.
Minister also informed that visa suspensions which exclude diplomatic and official visas will come into effect from March 14 to April 30. The government’s decision comes in the aftermath of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 outbreak pandemic and called upon countries to take necessary precautionary measures against the rapid spread of this lethal epidemic.
The government decision was taken by a high-level coordination committee led by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel on Thursday. The high-level meeting has also decided to restrict the movement of travelers across the Nepal- Indian border and adhere to quarantine measures at the border areas. However, no decision has been taken to close colleges and schools.
The government has also called upon the public not to organize any assemblies, weddings, festivities and public events. The lethal epidemic Coronavirus known as COVID-19 which spread from mainland China has already claimed the lives of over 4,984 people globally with maximum deaths in China only and around 134,800 people (in more than 120 countries) being infected around the world by now.
COVID-19 has insidiously affected tourism worldwide, including Nepal. Nepal continues to scramble for preventive measures with limited resources. According to Nepali authorities, six patients suspected of Coronavirus are in isolation wards in hospitals.
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