Nepal to reopen key border points with China to allow supply of essential goods

Shirish B Pradhan

Kathmandu, Mar 26 (PTI) Nepal has decided to to reopen its key border points with China to ease the supply of essential goods in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

A high-level committee led by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokhrel has decided to reopen two border points with China -- Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi -- by completing the necessary protocols at the earliest, the officials said on Thursday.

The border points were closed due to the devastating earthquakes of 2015.

The decision to open the key border points comes at a time when the country is facing a total lockdown amid fears of coronavirus spread.

So far, three persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Nepal, all foreign returnees.

The government on Monday announced a week-long nationwide lockdown to battle the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the government airlifted 59 tourists stranded due to lockdown at Pokhara, the tourist hub of westen Nepal.

Most of them are French nationals.

Similarly, on Wednesday 40 tourists and 20 Nepali mountain guides stranded at Jomsom, a mountain destination in North-West Nepal, have been rescued.

The government had stopped issuing trekking permits on March 20 as part of the preliminary measures to control the flow of tourists into the country amid coronavirus scare. PTI SBP PMS PMS