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COVID-19: Nepal expands travel ban to Europe, Mideast

Measures include shutting down of schools, colleges as well as limiting gathering of more than 25 people

Deepak Adhikari   | 18.03.2020
COVID-19: Nepal expands travel ban to Europe, Mideast

KATHMANDU, Nepal

Nepal on Wednesday expanded a travel ban on passengers flying in from all European countries and the Middle East over the coronavirus epidemic. 

A high-level task force on coronavirus, led by Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel, took the decision to ban passengers -- both Nepalese and foreigners -- from March 20 to April 15.

Kathmandu also announced that even passengers transiting through those European and Mideast nations are barred from entering the country.

The move followed an earlier decision that banned travelers from eight Asian and European countries worst hit by the virus, officially known as COVID-19.

The country, so far, has only one confirmed case of coronavirus.

The government has ordered closure of schools, colleges, cinema halls, gyms, clubs, swimming pools and museums until April 30.

It also banned gathering of more than 25 people in social and religious activities, urging people to not travel on crowded public transport and asked owners to disinfect their vehicles.

Wednesday's move came in the wake of similar restrictions by neighboring India, with which it shares an open border.

Worldwide, out of over 200,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,200, while more than 82,000 patients have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus, after first emerging in Wuhan, China last December.

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