Nearly 4,500 foreign tourists still stranded in Nepal amid COVID-19 lockdown

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-11 22:49:25|Editor: huaxia

KATHMANDU, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Almost 4,500 tourists are still stranded in Nepal after the government enforced a lockdown to minimize the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

According to Kabindra Bhatta, an officer at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the Department of Immigration (DOI) had provided NTB with the data that said around 10,000 tourists were in the country at the beginning of the lockdown.

"As per the recent update, 5,550 foreigners have been repatriated from Nepal to their respective countries in different charter flights by airlines like Qatar Airways, Nepal Airlines Corporation, Thai Airways, Air China and China Southern as of May 11," Bhatta told Xinhua on Monday.

"Tribhuvan International Airport as the only one exit point of Nepal leaves us with about 4,450 foreigners in the country," he added.

All domestic and international flights in the country have been suspended since March 22 to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the country. Only flights having acquired special permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal are allowed to fly in the Nepali sky.

A total of 51 charter flights were carried out from Kathmandu's international airport. "Of them, 17 cargo flights and 34 passenger flights were carried out between March 27 and May 9," according to the DOI.

The DOI said the flights took 666 persons to Britain, 656 to Germany, 535 to the United States, 425 to France, 322 to Canada, among other countries and regions.

Foreigners from countries like Australia, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Spain, China and India, among others, were also repatriated during Nepal's lockdown period. Enditem