August 19, 2020
The Nepali citizens who are really in trouble as they have lost the job and many are in the big crisis of shelter were dreaming to be landed in the homeland in the parental care and arrangement of Nepal government. But unfortunately, the situation again deceived where the government also add the pain by changing decision at the last moment.
Many Nepali citizens who were seeking free travelling due to no money to pay high airfare have got emotional punishment along with their family members who were waiting for them by counting the days including quarantine days. The fifth phase of rescue campaign was declared and planes were reached to receive Nepali where Nepali passengers were ready to travel but all of sudden, all flights for repatriation were postponed for an indefinite period which compelled to be back to the Nepali from the airport. They might not return in the same place from where they got farewell and best wishes to go back to Nepal.
For the cancellation of the campaign, the COVID Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) had sent a circular to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and it postponed the flights. The reason was stated as there was no arrangement of hotel quarantine for abroad returnees yet on which the Tourism Ministry postponed the scheduled chartered flights at the last moment.
According to new regulation made by cabinet meeting, only 500 stranded Nepalese per day could be able to back to Nepal via chartered flights from August 17 in the fifth phase. Among them, 200 would be repatriated on government cost whereas 300 others would be brought back on their own. On the basis of this declaration, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Himalaya Airlines and other international airlines had already made a schedule to repatriate Nepalese from abroad.
The decision taken by the government stating the ratio of infection is good but the concern is why they have played with the feeling of poor people who are really in trouble in abroad after losing the job and being panic due to overspreading infection of Coronavirus. The CCMC had directed the Ministry to postpone the flights, saying no arrangement of hotel quarantine has been made after coronavirus infection started increasing day by day and different local levels have started issuing prohibitory order. The reason is logical and realistic but not practical as many people are asking the government and the ministry ‘why they have cancelled at the last moment?’
No matter what the decision has been made without well planning; the government must play a significant role to save the life of citizens from any crisis like Coronavirus or other. Recently, after a long time of infection, the three districts of Kathmandu valley are preparing to establish local quarantine which is the matter of welcome although it is already too late. Earlier it used to send returnees to hotel quarantine.
Keshab Bahadur Pun