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Migrant workers start returning home as India reports rise in Covid-19 cases

The Kathmandu Post, Nepal, 28 March 2021 - The flow of Nepali people returning home through Gauriphanta border point in Kailali district has significantly increased amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in India.

The health desk set up at the border point is back in operation and health workers deployed at the health desk say they are overwhelmed by the number of people crossing into Nepal every day.

“The situation at the border point is similar to how it was last year around the same time,” said Amit BK, a health worker deployed in Gauriphanta health desk.

As many as 34 returnees entering through Gauriphanta have tested positive for the virus in the past five days. According to the District Health Office, 10 returnees tested positive for the virus on Saturday alone. “Number of positive cases is increasing by the day,” said Lal Bahadur Dhami, chief at the District Health Office

The infected returnees have been asked to stay in home quarantine.

Superintendent of Armed Police Force Dipendra Kunwar said the number of people entering Nepal through Gauriphanta border point has doubled in recent days.

“Until a week ago, around 400 to 500 people entered Nepal through Gauriphanta on a daily basis. In the last week, the number has doubled to 1,000 people per day,” said Kunwar.

Thousands of migrant workers from several districts of Sudurpaschim Province have started returning home from New Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Chennai, among other Indian cities, fearing another outbreak of coronavirus.

Dil Bahadur Rokaya, a resident of Bajhang who arrived at Gauriphanta from Gujarat on Wednesday, said that he decided to return home, as there was fear of yet another outbreak in his place of work.



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