Table of Content:
- A brief Introduction about COVID-19
- Rise of Hopeful Situation
- COVID-19 in Nepal
- Impact of Lockdown in Nepal
- Interesting Stories behind Lockdown in Nepal
After the lock-down in street of Thamel
COVID-19 and Nepal
COVID-19 has been a common concern of the global community these days. They are trying their best by utilizing their means and resources to minimize the spread of novel corona virus in their nations. It has been a great issue for the nations from under-developed to most develop. On the verge of the years 2019 and 2020, the Chinese Health officials reported WHO about a mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan City of Hubei Province.
As the number of infected with this newly developed pneumonia was 41, the Chinese authorities began investigating this issue seriously. On January 7 2020, they identified a new type of corona virus known as novel corona virus or nCoV. This SARS-COV-2 virus killed the first patient in Wuhan on January 11. When this virus was notified in a Thai citizen on January 13, the situation began aggravating. Since then, it began spreading towards other nations of all geographical and economic sizes.
Considering its expansion range, WHO declared a global-health emergency on January 30:2020. The following day, it gave this epidemic a new name called “COVID-19” which has spread in 208 nations of the world. The latest update about COVID-19 report shows that there are 1,929,633 corona virus cases; the total deaths equal to 119,785 and the recovered cases are 453,018 in the world.
Rise of Hopeful Situation
Although Wuhan of China is the epicenter of COVID-19, the strong and sincere efforts supported by the tactful policy helped the worsening situation under control. Immediately after the first death in Wuhan, China implemented the strong policy of lockdown in Wuhan and other 19 cities of Hubei Province. The flights and trains were suspended; the roads were blocked to discourage the movement in and out of the origin.
Later on, the lockdown was further extended to other major cities of the country. Suspension of Public transportation and ban on public places like supermarkets, malls, entertainment venues and public gatherings contributed a lot to minimize the adverse impacts of this new threat. While this epidemic started becoming a big headache of other nations, China was almost able to bring the infection rate at zero.
In the later months, the countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, America, Belgium and many other were (are) badly haunted by this pandemic. The death tolls are rising day by day along with the new corona virus cases multiplying at large proportion. The Recent development of the most infected countries in being able to increase the number of recovered cases has shown a ray of hope that the world will sooner come into normalcy.
Many of the countries have imposed effective lockdown policies to minimize the unexpected loss of lives in their nations. The scientists and medical experts have been working on 24/7 to find out the solution to this deadly virus. They have been suggesting the world community to follow the instructions given by them to fight against this widespread health hazards.
Despite the rise in the death tolls every day, the growth in the number of recovery has kindled the hope of rid from this problem. The countries like Germany, South Korea, Singapore and many more have been successful to limit the infections by applying the apt steps. The fall in the seriously growing number of the infected number in the countries like Italy and Spain is another reason that we can defeat this deadliest ambush very soon.
COVID-19 and Nepal
The first case of COVID-19 in Nepal was identified in a 31-years-old man on 24 January 2020. The patient was kept at Shukraraj Tropical Hospital, Teku, and Kathmandu in isolation and the diagnosis started. During this time, Nepal Government rescued 175 Nepali citizens from Wuhan on February 16, 2020. They were kept in quarantine for 14 days at Kharipati, Bhaktapur. Luckily, none of them were infected with novel corona virus, so, they were sent back to their own homes.
As soon as the second case of COVID-19 was seen, the government of Nepal declared a nationwide lockdown to confine the danger of this epidemic within the limit from 24 March. The government followed the Chinese model of lockdown as far as possible that the situation hasn’t gone out of grip. Until the date, there are only 16 cases confirmed throughout the country. The people who have traveled back to the nation through different countries and transits are seen with these hazards.
No case is confirmed in the Nepalese who has been here since even before the outbreak of this epidemic. Among the 16 cases, 1 has already recovered and returned home while other infected ones are undergoing treatment in normal condition prone to improvement. The citizens are careful about the threat of this disease while the government and local agencies are working to raise awareness among the people. The police administration has been more strict regarding the terms and conditions of the lockdown after it is revised for the second time.
Impacts of Lockdown on Environment and Tourism:
The nationwide or let’s say, worldwide lockdown has caused impacts on different sectors of the country. It has not only affected the revenue of the nation but also daily activities of the citizens are also hampered. Most of the industries and enterprises (government and private as well) are closed. This has caused shortage of goods and services resulting into trade deficit.
Educational institutions: schools, colleges and universities are shutdown and the examinations of different levels including Secondary Education Examination (SEE) are postponed. The students are compelled to stay inside home as they are not allowed to visit outside due to the lockdown. The parents have to manage some constructive way to engage the children in some recreational activities.
Moreover, the entertaining industries like cinemas are also closed. Socio-cultural aspects are also affected by this lockdown schedule. Both positive and negative impacts on environment and tourism are also tentatively seen in this standstill situation. Let’s take a quick look at the major impacts of this hard time on these two sectors:
The lockdown has banned on the public transportation and most of the factories. As these are prone to provide the favorable situation for spreading novel corona virus from one person to many others. The shortage of goods and services including difficulty in reaching from one place to another is the negative effects of this situation. But on the other hand, the stoppage of machines and vehicles has caused positive impacts to environment.
As there is no release of CFCs from vehicles and machines, the pollution is decreasing day by day. The air quality is increasing due to the lack of pollutants in it. Likewise, the biodiversity is less affected as the people are inside their homes. The hole of the ozone layer is in the process of recovery. Decrease of CFCs in the atmosphere will result in good visibility that one can see the mesmerizing view of snowy peaks, diverse landscapes and green forests while visiting the Himalayas.
As the tourism agencies are closed, the movement of the national and international tourists is affected. With the suspension of air and road transportation, the travelers are not allowed to plan their visit during this time. The workers of tourism industry are out of the city areas to avoid the alarming situation of COVID-19 communication. The teahouses, hotels and lodges are also shut down in this situation.
The tourism agencies of Nepal in collaboration with the government rescued the international tourists affected due to the lockdown. Nearly 1000 foreign travelers stuck in different trekking destinations of Nepal were duly rescued during the lockdown period. The civil aviation of Nepal provisioned the chartered flights for those tourists desiring to return their home country.
More importantly, the concerned authority and tourism agencies have provisioned food and accommodation facilities to those tourists with low or no budget at all. Different stakeholders of Nepalese tourism have been providing free services to provide the stay facilities to the guests. They are helping the tourists to go back to their home country by coordinating with the respective embassies in Nepal.
The Nepalese tourism industry and its agencies are showing the best example of humanity at this hard time. They are successful in maintaining the ethics “Guests are Gods!” which is an important asset of the Nepalese culture and tradition.
Interesting Stories behind the Lockdown in Nepal:
To fight back COVID-19, the Government of Nepal has declared the nationwide lockdown since March 24 2020. The tourism agencies located in the urban areas of the country are closed, too. Therefore, all the workers involved in tourism industry have gone back to their village. They are spending quality time with their family members as if they were in the long vacation. Many of them are working in the field or farm in order to plant crops and vegetables as per the season.
In the field where there are irrigation facilities, it is time for paddy plantation. And the dry land, it is the season for sowing maize grains. Both the crops are harvested after three months or so. Similarly, the people are busy in planting different vegetables and fruits according to the season. Although other sectors of the entire nation are affected due to the lockdown imposed to minimize the spread of COVID-19, it has given time for family reunion.
You may wonder such plantation time needs a large number of workers to work in the field and they may not be able to keep the necessary distance! But the Nepalese nowadays are educated and they know how to keep the negative impacts away from them and the society. They have android phone in hands and also have access to the Internet that they go through different media.
The news and views of these media keep them informed about the current affairs as well. They are really curious about what is happening around the world. Some common news all the Nepalese are interested in are: How China came out of this pandemic; Why Germany is able to keep the spread of novel corona virus under control; are Italy and Spain working for putting this worldwide disease under control and many more.
On the other hand, this epidemic has contributed a lot to strengthen the bond among the families and the societies as well. People share the information among one another so that they can help themselves to stay away from this fatal disease. Bringing cooperation and coordination for the common objectives is also the positive impact of this infection. More than this, it has also helped in removing the social discriminations, if any.
Despite the spread of COVID-19 is rampant all over the world, the medical science is dedicated to find out the solution very soon. The experts are working very hard to sort out the solutions: medical as well as behavioral- to the prevalent problems. While the international community is committed to find the most reliable way out of this problem, Nepal is also trying its best to remain a safe zone.
Still the condition of Nepal is not out of control as the government has already taken the effective initiatives. The country is not much affected by this epidemic despite the poorly equipped health sectors. As the health professionals of the nation state, there are a few reasons behind this safety. The socio-cultural practices, food habit and immunity of the Nepalese citizens are some of them.
After this devastating situation comes to an end, Nepal will again be one of the most notable tourist destinations in the world. Due to the natural and cultural wonders prevalent in this country of Mt. Everest (8,848) and the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Nepalese tourism will foster in the international market. The unexplored natural sites and unaffected cultural sites are always calling you to Nepal!
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