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Nepal bans all domestic, international flights till May 14 amid COVID surge

KATHMANDU: Amid a rapid increase in the cases of COVID-19 in the state, Nepal on Sunday suspends all domestic flights from today midnight and all international flights from Wednesday until May 14.

According to health minister Haridayesh Tripathi, the restriction will be in place till May 14, however, the charter flights will be allowed to operate.

Moreover, quarantine has now been made compulsory for all visitors to Nepal.

Foreign visitors arriving in the Kathmandu Valley must stay in hotels for a 10-day quarantine period.

For entry into Nepal, a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within 72 hours of departure from the country of origin is necessary.

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On the other hand, reports suggest that bus services have been suspended since April 29.

Buddha Air managing director Birendra Bahadur Basnet said, the entire country is going into lockdown, and the two-week circuit-breaker is a wise move. “We will regret it if we don’t act now,” he added.

In the past 24 hours, Nepal recorded the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in January of last year.

In polymerase chain reaction experiments, there were 7,137 new cases, and in antigen tests, there were 74 new cases.

The death toll from COVID-19 has now reached 3,325, with 27 new deaths reported during the period.

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