As fears about COVID-19 continue to plague the world, many countries have taken preventative measures and canceled activities and meetings. Nepal is the last country to call not to organize large meetings, conferences, festivals or other activities in view of the possible risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
In response, organizers of three major activities, from the film industry to sports, agreed to postpone or cancel their long-awaited shows.
The first case of COVID-19 was detected in a Nepalese student returning from China on January 23, but was released after his condition improved. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, as of March 6, 437 patient samples were analyzed and 436 were negative, and the only positive case had already recovered from the virus. But until March 8, 441 samples were analyzed, and all were negative
While Nepal's infection figures remain relatively low, the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak is projected to have very serious effects on the economy. According to an ADB analysis, the outbreak will affect almost all sectors of the Nepalese economy, and many fear that the country's GDP will decrease by 0.04-0.13%.
Stagnant international programs
The 8th Nepal International Human Rights Film Festival (NHRIFF), which was due to start on March 4, 2020, is one of the international activities that has decided to honor the appeal of the Nepalese government.
Every year, the Human Rights Film Center (HRFC) brings together human rights filmmakers and human rights activists from around the world to screen their films and debate human rights issues. This year, 84 films from 32 countries were selected to be screened at the festival. Also, 22 filmmakers from 17 countries traveled to Nepal to participate in the festival. As the festival preparations and publicity continued, the Center announced its postponement on March 2 until further notice.
In a press release, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Film Center and the Director of the Nepal International Human Rights Film Festival, Pandav Khatri, said:
HRFC will declare next date of the Festival once the situation is under control. The same films already selected for the festival will be screened on the next date too. HRFC apologizes for the inconvenience caused on the national and international filmmakers, the participants and audiences, supporters, sponsors and others due to this cancellation of the festival.
HRFC will declare the next date of the Festival once the situation is under control. The same films already selected for the festival will also be screened on the next date. HRFC apologizes for the inconvenience caused to national and international filmmakers, participants and audiences, supporters, sponsors and others due to this cancellation of the festival.
The Pokhara 2020 International Film Festival, scheduled to start on March 14, has also been postponed until further notice. The festival is held every year in the tourist town of Pokhara, and its fourth edition of two was scheduled for March 14-15. 35 films from 22 countries were scheduled to be screened at the festival, and five international filmmakers and eight Nepalese filmmakers would attend. In a press release, Jitesh Pradhan, president of the Pokhara Film Society, said the new date will be declared when the situation is under control.
In addition, the long-awaited Everest Premier League, the T20 cricket bonanza involving famous international players, was also postponed.
The 2020 TVS Everest Premier League has been postponed until further notice following detailed discussions with the Government of Nepal & other stakeholders to avoid possible transmission of COVID – 19
– EPL – Everest Premier League (@ eplt20official) March 5, 2020
The Premier League 2020 TVS Everest has been postponed until further notice after detailed discussions with the Government of Nepal and other interested parties to avoid the possible transmission of COVID – 19
It will come back bigger and better than ever.
In addition, Sagarmatha Sambaad, a forum of the Government of Nepal, scheduled for April 2 and 4, 2020, has also been postponed due to the possible risk of COVID-19. The Government had planned the global multi-stakeholder dialogue on the theme “Climate change, mountains and the future of humanity”, to focus primarily on the impacts of climate change that Nepal and other countries in the world face. After the World Health Organization (WHO) listed Nepal as one of the countries at high risk for a new coronavirus outbreak, the Government of Nepal decided to postpone this international forum in which many politicians, representatives of universities and organizations Internationals were planning to participate.
The Government of Nepal also decided to stop issuing arrival visas to foreigners who come from five countries seriously affected by the COVID-19 outbreak: China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy. On March 9, 2020 they expanded the list to include France, Germany and Spain
The Nepali government has suspended the visa-on-arrival regime for nationals of five countries – China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran which were badly affected by the #coronavirus epidemic. #COVID ー 19 #Nepalhttps://t.co/VMVFe0aS6b
– South Asia Center (@ACSouthAsia) March 5, 2020
Nepal suspends visa upon arrival to citizens of countries severely affected by COVID-19
The Nepalese Government has suspended visa regime for citizens of five countries.
The Nepalese government has suspended the visa regime on arrival for citizens of five countries: China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran, severely affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
The Government also decided to conduct a scan for COVID-19 at 37 border entry points along the Nepal-India border.