Kathmandu–The government has urged the stakeholders to adopt high alertness on the possible risk to the tourism sector from the coronavirus that has spread in some places of the neighbouring country China.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, during a discussion today with the stakeholders, urged adoption of high alertness although the situation did not warrant much concern. The discussion was held at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
He informed the stakeholders that the government has prepared for preventing the spread of virus. "Let us all the stakeholders adopt high alertness to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Nepal. The government is ready to control it in case of the spread of the virus," the Minister asserted.
He stated that a 'health desk' has been set up at Tribhuvan International Airport, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population, for checking the health of tourists entering the country from air route, and adequate health alertness has been adopted to protect the employees working at the airport from the infection.
"We have provided mask, gloves and other protective gear to all the employees at the airport to protect them from the infection," he added.
Stating that the role of the neighbouring country, China, was very significant for the promotion of tourism, the Tourism Minister said the visitors coming from that country have been kept in close surveillance.
He shared that as per the World Health Organization standard, arrangements have been made for separate parking space at the airport for parking the aircraft coming from countries affected by the virus.
Stressing on the need of the stakeholders also to adopt high alertness to prevent the spread of virus, Minister Bhattarai said, "The active participation of the private sector is necessary to stop the spread of the virus. He urged the stakeholders to put up awareness-raising banners in English and Chinese language in Lumbini, Pashupati, Thamel, Sauraha, among other tourist destinations.
The government has made arrangements for the treatment of people infected by coronovirus at the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital at Teku in Kathmandu Valley. Arrangements would also be made for treatment of coronavirus infected people at hospitals in all the seven States of the country.
DoT and NTB assigned focal units The Ministry declared the Department of Tourism and Nepal Tourism Board as a focal point to coordinate with stakeholders to deal with the virus.
"Officials of the Department and Board can coordinate with respective sectors to deal with the persons visiting Nepal showing symptoms of the disease, coordinate with stakeholders and exchange information in this regard," said minister Bhattarai.
He also urged the people to stay alert, but not to panic and spread rumours relating to the disease affecting the Visit Nepal Year.
Representatives from the Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal, Hotel Association Nepal and Nepal Association of Tour & Travels Agents were present on the occasion.