- Navin Lamichhane
Manang. With the increase of Coronavirus with new variants, foreign tourists are stranded in Manang. It is said that they have come to Manang on the Annapurna footpath which has been deserted for a long time.
Local Ram Gurung said that they had to stay there as they could not walk due to the lockdown. According to him, the foreign tourists are safe. Most of the villages have become like ‘sealed’ after the corona virus with new variants started appearing in this village.
The Annapurna footpath, the world’s 10th largest tourist destination, has been closed. People here have closed their hotel business and are at home.
According to the PCR report on Tuesday, 28 people, including a foreigner, have been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus in the district.The District Public Health Office, Manang said, 44 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the district so far.
So far, only two villages in the district have been found infected. Of them, seven are infected in Chame and 37 in Manang Ngisyang. Lekhnath Gautam, head of the Annapurna Conservation Area in Manang, said that there are 22 foreign nationals in Manang village, 14 in Khangsar Tilicho base camp, three in Ngavolgaun and one in Pisang village.
According to him, 241 foreign tourists including 144 men and 97 women had entered Manang in April. Similarly, 197 people have passed through Thorangla pass and reached Mustang while 10 have returned from Manang.
The district administration has started searching for foreign tourists in the district only after the Dutch nationals were found infected. Chief District Officer Bishnu Prasad Lamichhane said that the number of tourists in Annapurna Conservation Area Manang is not official.
He said, “We do not have any data as foreigners come to the Annapurna area by registering permits. We are looking for statistics now”. Similarly, Annapurna Conservation Area Manang has been collecting data and searching for tourists who are staying in various places.
According to Lamichhane, the District Administration Office, Manang, is collecting data and sending them to their desired destination. One of the Dutch nationals has been infected and has been airlifted to Kathmandu while others are safe here.
Most of the people currently stranded in Manang are citizens of European countries. Two Indians, three Israelis, others from France, the Netherlands and the British are in the Annapurna Conservation Area.
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