Government Reged. No.: 72026/066/067  |  Tourism Reged. No.: 1139

Is Nepal Safe to Travel from Coronavirus? Nepal Safe to Travel.

Is Nepal Safe to Travel from Coronavirus?

Published Date :29 Feb, 2020

Coronavirus (CoV) is a family virus, which is spread and transmitted between animals and people. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) are some of the fatal diseases caused in the past by various strands of CoV. Among coronaviruses, novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019) is a new strand of virus that was previously not found in human beings.

This virus causes various illnesses related to a respiratory system like the common cold, fever, and in severe cases, pneumonia. The first case of COVID-2019 was reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. As of now, the source of the outbreak of COVID-2019 has not been confirmed.

Symptoms of Corona Virus affected people
The symptoms of COVID-2019 are listed below:

  1. Common cold
  2. Fever
  3. Shortness in breathing
  4. Pneumonia
  5. Kidney failure

Coronaviruses that caused SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV both dealt with people suffering from respiratory and enteric symptoms. Similar to this, people affected by COVID-2019 are seen to suffer from the common cold, mild to severe fever, common cold, and shortness of breath. The symptoms start with tiredness and slight fever in affected people. If the affected person’s immune system is weak, the virus can lead to deadly pneumonia and even chances of organ failure.

The first reported cases of death in China show that the patients were suffering pneumonia. The incubation period of the virus is estimated to be 14 days, so that the symptoms can come from the second day or within 14 days.

The virus can be spread from person to person, so it is advised that people protect themselves by following standard hygiene measures such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, using masks, and washing hands regularly with soap and water.
 

Global situation of Coronavirus affected people

As of February 21 2020, the number of COVID-2019 cases has reached 76,769 globally. In China alone, 75569 cases have been confirmed, with 2239 deaths. Since this virus outbreak started in Wuhan, China is the country that is at the highest risk.

Outside of China, eight deaths have been reported with 1200 confirmed cases of COVID-2019 in 26 countries, including Japan, Korea, Philippines, France, Iran, and many more. After China, the Diamond Princess Cruise holds the most confirmed cases with 634 people.

South Korea follows with confirmed cases of more than 200. An increasing number of new cases are being reported mostly in Asian countries, specifically those around China. In Europe and the western part, the cases are mostly reported of Chinese tourists who arrived earlier this month.
 

The vulnerability of Coronavirus in Nepal

Nepal is one of the neighboring countries of China, so there are high chances of Nepal being in the danger zone. Along with it, Chinese nationals account for the largest number of tourists coming into the country. The number of incoming tourists from other COVID-2019 affected Asian countries like Japan and Thailand is also high. There are also a large number of Chinese people living in Nepal. This has made the country vulnerable to the COVID-2019 outbreak.
 

Number of verified cases of Coronavirus affected people in Nepal

Till now, one case of COVID-2019 has been reported in Nepal. There were many suspected cases, but all of those have turned out to be negative to date. On February 9, 175, Nepalese people were brought to Nepal by the government and have been on quarantine for 14 days. The daily reports have shown negative results of COVID-2019 among the 175 individuals, but they will still be on quarantine. 
 

What is the current scenario and how the government is acting upon it?

The government has taken up prompt actions after this outbreak. After the WHO announced necessary precautions, the Government of Nepal has actively increased the efficiency of the health sector. Most of the hospitals and health institutions have started to give their staffs’ training and other safety measures. This way, the hospitals can be ready for any emergency cases of COVID-2019.

The government has vigorously promoted various exercises as it strengthens the human resource for the health sector. The government has also published posters as a part of the awareness campaign. The poster depicts the symptoms and prevention methods for COVID-2019. So far, there are only suspicions of COVID-2019, but no new cases have been confirmed. 

This is an outbreak that took place in a specific geographic location, so the best way to contain it is through strict screening of people coming into the country. In Tribhuvan International Airport, heat sensors at health desks have been put, especially in the arrival section. 

How are you? I hope you and all your family are doing well there too. It is sad news for all of us travel restriction and Locked Down cities, and country to minimize influence of worldwide health critical situation of Coronavirus (COVID-19). I would like to update you current situation of Nepal, “Guided by WHO flesh report and recommendation and learning from international practices, measures and force majeure to combat against COVID-19, the Government of Nepal (GoN) has decide to the shutdown all the front door services 22nd-March to 03rd-April-2020.” This way, the entry of suspected people can be stopped, and suspected individuals are immediately sent to hospitals for further checkups. Similarly, all transports in Nepal-China border: Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi have been blocked. This way, the government has reduced the risk of COVID-2019 and is slowly trying to make the country safe for travel for Visit Nepal 2020.

Coronavirus and its impacts on tourism at global and Nepal

It is without a doubt; the tourism sector has been put to a halt because of the virus outbreak. Chinese tourists account for a significant role in the boom of global tourism. In European countries like France, Italy, and Germany, the tourism industry has been struck due to the fewer number of Chinese tourists.

Similarly, many Southeast Asian countries like China and Japan are also suffering from a massive loss as tourism contributes a considerable amount to their gross domestic product. Today, the outbreak has reduced the travel frequency of all countries. In America, 70% travel booking to Southeast Asian countries in February and March has been canceled.

Like in other countries, the effect of Coronavirus on the tourism of Nepal is severe. The average number of Chinese tourists coming into Nepal has decreased by 1/3. Advanced bookings in hotels and travel agencies have also reduced significantly for the next 2-3 months.

Due to this reason, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and other people involved in the tourism industry are facing loss even though it is the peak season of travel. The tourist jammed areas like Thamel and Pokhara seem empty in the last few weeks. Even though only 1 case has been confirmed yet, it can be considered that Nepal is still safe to travel to a certain extent. 
 

How to be safe from Coronavirus 

Since there is no vaccine or medicine to cure it until now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised everyone to take care of their hygiene. One can follow the mentioned measures to be safe from the virus.

  1. Wash your hands before and after using the toilet, after petting animals, and when your hands are visibly dirty. Alcohol-based sanitizers or hand rubs can also be used if there are no alternatives to soap.
  2. While coughing or sneezing, you must cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, handkerchief, or folded elbow. Proper masks also come effective in such cases. Through this simple action, you can prevent germs and saliva from coming in contact with other people. Do not sneeze or cough into hands as it may be transmitted to other people during contact.
  3. Since the virus transmits fast through human contact, it is advised to avoid crowds and maintain at least 1 m (3 feet) distance with people, especially those who are coughing, sneezing, or have a fever. There are high chances that you may breathe or touch the germs and saliva if you are close to such people.
  4.  If you have a common cold or feeling feverish, you must immediately head to the nearest hospital or health institution to take tests. If anyone you know is suffering from similar symptoms, it is best to advise them to go to the hospital as well.
  5. WHO has strongly recommended being cautious while visiting live animal markets. Additionally, they have advised eating thoroughly cooked meat only. Raw meats should be avoided at all costs.

Visit Nepal 2020 and Coronavirus

From the end of January, the coronavirus outbreak has brought a negative impact to the world, and especially for Nepal, the campaign “Visit Nepal 2020” has slowed down even though it was off to a smooth start. The second month of the year has brought pessimism to the tourism industry. Even though Nepal has reported only one confirmed case of COVID-2019, tourists are still in fear of traveling as the country shares its border with China in the north, and also due to the large Chinese population residing here.  
 

Conclusion:

Tourism is one of the most lucrative businesses, and it has certainly has cooled down due to this virus outbreak. However, to stop and contain this situation on time, it is crucial to stay updated and take on preventive measures. Even though some countries are free from its risks, there is no knowledge of what may happen. Thus, health must always be prioritized. It is necessary to take precautions because, as the saying goes, "Prevention is better than cure," it is still better to be prepared now than to face the consequences later. The First Wealth is Health! I hope this pandemic will control soon by the God Grace!!!

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