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Nepal, Safe from Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19)

Nepal

According to World Health Organization (WHO) –“Coronavirus are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from common cold to severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.”

Coronaviruses are zoonotic in nature i.e. transmitted from animals to humans. There are different types of Corona Virus which can cause several kinds of infection to our respiratory as well as gastrointestinal systems. Mostly the symptoms are common cold, fever, and pneumonia. However, here are some types of coronaviruses that can cause severe diseases and often death too.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV) seen in China-2003.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV) seen in Saudi Arabia-2012.
Novel Corona Virus (N-COV) seen in Wuhan, China-2019.

Novel Corona Virus (COVID 19) was first seen in Wuhan, China in a group of people who were suffering from Pneumonia. The group was in-associated with seafood and live animal market in Wuhan city. Then, the disease spread from the infected to their family member, health personnel and people who are in contact with them. Now, this disease has been seen in multiple countries of the world. Globally, more than 2000 people are already dead with a major death in China. The numbers of confirmed novel coronavirus cases are more than 60,000 in at least 27 countries with a majority in China. No vaccine or treatment has been developed yet but scientists are trying to develop some treatment for the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19).

Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Nepal?
On 13th January 2020, a Nepali student returned to Nepal from Wuhan, China. He was presented in Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital. After the check-up, it was known that he had flu with throat congestion and a positive COVID-19. There were no other relevant signs or symptoms. He was isolated and treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and supportive therapies. After a few days of treatment and diagnosis, he was normal and when re-checked, the virus was negative. He was discharged the next day and instructed to self-quarantine for some time.
This was the first and last case of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Nepal which has already been recovered. Besides this, there are no cases or doubts of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19).

What about China-Nepal Border?

Nepal is a land-locked country surrounded by two big countries; India and China. Yes, Nepal shares border with China and various airlines were providing their services which links Nepal and China. A lot of people from Nepal are in China and many Chinese also travel Nepal for various reasons through the borders.

  1. After the outbreak of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), the government announced to close the Nepal-China border to prevent infected individuals to enter Nepal.
  2. 175 Nepalese students who were studying in the province of China, Hubei, were brought to Nepal on February 15th, 2020. The students are being monitored and are kept in the quarantine zone at Kharipati, Bhaktapur; even if they are not infected.
  3. After the outbreak, Nepal Airlines, which was preparing to operate flights to China, has postponed its flight for 6 months.
  4. Other flights that are linked with China has already been stopped.

Is Nepal Safe?

Yes, Nepal is safe to travel

  1. There are no symptoms or danger regarding the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19).
  2. There are no cases of infected people with recent coronavirus.
  3. All borders to China are closed by the Nepal government though it hampers the Tibet-Nepal trade.
  4. All the airlines and airways that are adjoined with China are already stopped by the Nepal Government.
  5. Nepal government has set up a health desk at Tribhuwan International Airport to ensure every individual are well examined during their entrance.
  6. Viruses remain more active in cold areas and are passive in warm places.
    (The weather of Nepal is mild and warm. Winter season has just finished and spring is on the way. So, due to the heat effect, Corona Virus’ fear is comparatively less in Nepal in comparison to other countries.)
  7. You may see many people wearing face masks in Nepal. But you don’t need to worry as the trend of wearing a face mask in Nepal is older than Novel Corona Virus due to pollution and dust in some city areas.
  8. There are still many travelers from different parts of the world in Nepal enjoying their holidays without the fear of Novel Corona Virus.

Although Nepal is safe to travel around, one should always know the transmission and preventive measures for the virus:

“Prevention is better than cure.”

Transmission

  1. Coughing and Sneezing without covering mouth and nose can spread the viruses into the air.
  2. Shaking hands or touching with an infected person can spread the virus.
  3. Making contact with a person or object that is infected and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
  4. Unnecessary close contact with animals.

Some preventive measures

  1. Covering nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing.
  2. Always wash your hands.
  3. Use of hand sanitizers and alcohol-based hand-drops.
  4. Avoid unnecessary contact and touch with people.
  5. Avoid unnecessary contact with the animals.
  6. Cook well before eating. Avoid raw foods.
  7. Maintain a good food habits and stay healthy.