26 Nepali nationals stranded in Myanmar flown back home

Kathmandu [Nepal], June 5 (ANI): As many as 26 Nepali nationals stranded in Myanmar due to the situation created by COVID-19 and sudden closure of flight services were flown back to Nepal on Friday morning.

Myanmar Air Force aircraft brought the Nepali nationals late on Friday morning and will fly back with its nationals who were stranded in the Himalayan nation for over two months.

"The aircraft flew back with 53 Myanmar nationals after bringing our nationals. It was a flight by Air Force of Myanmar," Devendra KC, Director General of Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu told ANI over the phone.

The airlifted nationals will now be kept in holding centre built by the Nepal Army and then sent to their homes where they will remain in home quarantine.

An official with knowledge of the matter said that evacuation procedures for stranded Nepalis from abroad will continue.

"Groundwork is still underway to bring and manage stranded Nepalis, mainly migrant workers, from the Middle-East. We have planned to start flights to different destinations from June 10 but an official decision over it is yet to be made," Suresh Acharya, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation told ANI over the phone.

Preparations are underway for about 50,000 people who are expected to be flown back home. The airlifted nationals will be then escorted to holding centers set inside Kathmandu valley and sent to quarantines set on by the local bodies after noting their details.

The government has decided to deploy national flag carrier- Nepal Airlines - to bring back nationals on an urgent basis. Along with it a private aviation service provider, Himalaya Airlines, also has been asked to prepare for evacuation which will be done on one-aircraft-one destination basis.

The repatriation criteria include those who have been granted amnesty in foreign soil especially in the Middle-East, those who haven't renewed their visas, those staying at repatriation centers, those who have to return to complete final rites or rituals and those without jobs. (ANI)