KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The government of Nepal is sending a Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) aircraft to Wuhan to bring home the 180 Nepali citizens who are awaiting evacuation as China battles the deadly coronavirus that has killed nearly 1,380 people and infected 63,851 in mainland China.
Nine crew members including three pilots and four health workers will board the 274-seater Airbus 330 which will leave at 2:45 pm tomorrow, according to the NAC.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing has requested the Chinese authorities to provide flight clearance and other permits required for evacuation.
The embassy has managed buses to pick up the Nepalis, mostly students, who are scattered in six different cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan the epicenter of the outbreak, which remains in lockdown since mid-January.
The buses will pick them up on Saturday morning and will assemble them in Wuhan before takeoff.
The embassy has also asked the students to sign a six-point letter of consent to return to Nepal.
The letter of consent states that they may not be allowed to go back to Nepal or may be placed in quarantine by the concerned authorities of China based on the medical checks performed as part of the needful procedures.
The evacuees will have to undergo quarantine requirements as determined by the concerned authorities upon arrival in Nepal, it states.
The government has readied 199 isolation beds in four blocks of Nepal Electricity Authority Training Center in Kharipati, Bhaktapur to quarantine them for at least 14 days. They will be kept in four blocks
According to the Health Ministry, the crew members of the flight will also be quarantined in view to avoid the possible spread of the virus.
The evacuation flight will return to the Tribhuvan International Airport at 2:15 am on Sunday.
Several other countries including the United States, France, Japan, India have already evacuated their citizens from China.