Health desk at the border was not effective


Butwal, Jan. 22: Those infected with the virus from Belahiya on the Nepal-India border have started moving freely. The locals said that the problem was due to the ineffectiveness of the temporary health desk and holding center set up at the border to prevent the transmission of corona. Only normal fever has been measured at the checkpoint. It is estimated that the increase in the number of Nepali consumers going to the Indian market for shopping has also increased the infection.

Many Nepalis go to the Indian market daily to buy goods through the Belahiya border crossing of Rupandehi. They have not been tested for corona, nor have they met their own health standards. The order issued by the local administration for the prevention of corona infection has not been implemented. Lal Mohan Chaudhary, health coordinator of Belahiya Health Desk, says that the risk of spreading the infection has increased as corona has not been tested on Indian tourists and Nepalis returning from work in India.

Lately, corona infection has been seen in Indians and Nepalis entering Nepal through Belahiya. The Ministry of Health, Siddharthnagar Municipality and various organizations have set up health desks at Naka. Security personnel are also deployed. Ujjwal Kasaju, president of the Butwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, Rupandehi Chief District Officer Rishi Ram Tiwari said that health vigilance and health check-ups at the border have been tightened but the manpower could not contain the crowd. Around 500 freight vehicles enter Belahiya daily but the corona of the driver and co-driver has not been tested. It is said that even if they see infection at the checkpoint, they go straight home on the condition of staying in home isolation.

Due to the increasing corona infection in India, the number of Nepalis returning for employment is increasing. About three thousand Nepalis are coming from Belahiya Naka, about four thousand from Rupadiya Naka, about two thousand from Krishnanagar and Maheshpur. Apart from this, the same number of citizens are coming from other small checkpoints of the district.

Despite the increase in corona infection, it is now seen that vehicles have come to visit Indian tourist shrines and tourist sites on the basis of vaccination cards. According to the Belahiya Area Police Office and Bhairahawa Customs Office, 7009 freight and passenger vehicles are coming to Nepal daily from Belahiya border point alone, but there is not enough manpower at the border for health check-up and no holding center. The health workers themselves have been infected at the checkpoint run by a limited number of health workers. Loknath Kandel, a lab technician at Belahiya Naka, said that eight health workers were infected. Chief of the Public Health Office, Gaurav Dhakal, says that the health workers have been infected even while working with vigilance.

Although more than 500 antigens are tested daily at the checkpoint, not everyone who enters is tested. Kasuju, district president of the Butwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reminded that industrialists and businessmen have demanded to make the test effective at the border saying that the corona infection has spread from people coming from India even before this. He emphasizes that the environment should be conducive for people to come to Nepal with ease by conducting corona examination easily. However, the state government has not yet built the holding center. There is no land in Rupandehi for the holding centers to be built in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Banke. The work in Banke has been delayed and the work in Krishnanagar of Kapilvastu has reached the final stage. According to Pushparaj Poudel, spokesperson of the state health office, the work has been delayed due to lack of budget.

Ask for money to build a holding center

The state government has demanded money from the federal government to set up holding centers at three border points with India. A budget of Rs. 100 million has been demanded for the construction of holding centers in Bhairahawa of Rupandehi, Nepalgunj of Banke and Krishnanagar of Kapilvastu. Chief Minister Kool Prasad KC has requested Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to provide funds.
According to Dr. Binod Kumar Giri, Director of Health, the state hospital has started preparations saying that the corona infection may have increased if people from India are allowed to enter after a long time due to the antigen test done at the checkpoint. “We have kept the hospital in a state of readiness for treatment, including the assessment that the infection will increase and the hospital may be filled,” he said.

By Auther