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Caution when travelling in Nepal!

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Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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I am a medical doctor based in Austria. Have traveled almost 20 times to Nepal over the last 32 years.

Iam extremely concerned about the unfolding catastrophy which will take place over the next two to three month in my beloved Nepal.

I can only advice to exercise the utmost caution when travelling in Nepal. Mask up, ideally with a FFP2 mask. Hand hygiene, social distance, ventilating the room as often and thoroughly as possible.

The pandemic will trigger mass casualities in Nepal. There is not the slightest reason to believe that CoVid will treat Nepal any better than it treats India right now, and you know the pictures from India .

The only reason the situation isn't as bad as in India yet is that Nepal is around three weeks behind.

If you are a foreigner, leave the country as soon as possible. Travelling TO Nepal right now should be out of the question. There are good reasons to assume that all international flights to and from Nepal will be banned the same way as they were banned last year. TIA will most likely shut down.

The situation now is nothing like the situation last year. The incoming wave is multiple times higher, B1.617, the most common strain in India is way more contagious.

The only similarity to last year is that Nepal is exactly as unprepared as it was in 2020, thanks to an absurdly incompetent political leadership which has basically given up on the task.

Please take the utmost caution even when people around you seem to take the matter lightly.

Edited: April 30, 2021, 7:58 am
11 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
21 posts
1. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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Yesterday the State Department of the USA asked U.S. citizens to leave India - As Soon As Possible.

Expect similar travel advice for Nepal in a week or two.

https://www.axios.com/state-department-us-citizens-leave-india-f31788ef-01d6-4704-abe5-8ea792d7705a.html

Nepal
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669 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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I think this is sound advice.

The only things that are working in Nepal's favor now are the new lockdown measures. That is a step India never took. With the Brahmin control of the Nepal gov, any restrictions on India are almost never proposed, so to finally have the border entries controlled, or closed, and flights restricted, is a huge step in the right direction.

I get the sense Nepal is far more proactive this time around than they were a year ago. I see far more masks. Pokhara is a ghost town again with everyone doing far better this time to respect the restrictions.

While I don't tend to think flights will be cancelled like last year, I definitely anticipate more headaches getting in/out of Nepal. Qatar Air just announced a new list of hard restrictions on flyers.

one day closer to...
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3. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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Quitou, Do you have a link to the new Qatar restrictions/ requirements?

Nepal
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669 posts
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4. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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You can likely find them on the Qatar Air website. I received an email alert since I almost always have tickets booked.

In brief, people traveling from Nepal to Qatar must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Doha. People transiting through Doha via Qatar Air flights originating in KTM must now produce a negative PCR report from within 48 hours of departure, not 72 hours. Those tests must now be produced from a very short list of 5 labs in KTM. Star and Hams are the most popular and remain on that list. The Central Diagnostics Lab was removed from that list, which is good as it was a poor lab.

The changes are nothing major, but do tighten controls.

Edited: April 30, 2021, 3:34 pm
one day closer to...
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5. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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Thanks found them, nothing serious but definitely need to know. Rescheduling my return flight in the next couple of days.

Oslo, Norway
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944 posts
6. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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#4. Star and Hams are the most popular and remain on that list. The Central Diagnostics Lab was removed from that list, which is good as it was a poor lab.

What makes Central Diagnostic Laboratory a poor lab?

It was recommended to me from CIWEC Hospital, who use it for tests.

Even if I were a medical doctor, I would have no way of knowing if a hospital/clinic/lab delivered me correct PCR test result.

Edited: April 30, 2021, 5:30 pm
Nepal
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669 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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@Karl, back in Oct/Nov there were a number of staff who tested positive at CDL with many said to remain at work for days after. There were also continued reports of people going for tests for the purposes of travel, and then getting sick after. Many believe they were infected at the lab.

We used CDL twice. Once during a mass crowd of people and the safety measures were absolutely horrible. We had to leave on our first attempt as people were forced to stand shoulder to shoulder on the roof where people were visibly ill, laying down, coughing, etc. The test rooms were poorly ventilated and it was believed that is why it was believed to be spreading the virus within the facility.

It was recommended to me by an epidemiologist for the proficiency of the lab itself. When I showed him video of the crowd on the roof and the test rooms, he immediately called the owner of CDL to complain.

I still don't know how we went there in Nov and did not get infected. If you went on a day with minimal people, you probably had a totally different experience.

athome
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8. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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@6 …...“Even if I were a medical doctor, I would have no way of knowing if a hospital/clinic/lab delivered me correct PCR test result”

Wow a lightbulb moment! and can add the hospital/clinic/lab don’t know either.

So called results that don’t include the number of amplified cycles are worthless data.

And a claim of positive test doesn't mean an identifiable infection.

Throw it all away and start again.

Bangkok, Thailand
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52 reviews
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9. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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Recent Guardian (UK) article on Nepal’s Covid struggle:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/30/nepal-facing-deadly-covid-wave-similar-to-india-doctors-warn

Singapore, Singapore
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11 reviews
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10. Re: Caution when travelling in Nepal!
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been following the forum for the past weeks hoping for a respite in the situation (more on trekking than covid-19) and now it seems like a covid-19 tsunami is sweeping over nepal because of the lack of border control against their neighbour (whom shall not be named). very sad.

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