74 Nepalis quarantined in Portugal


Kathmandu, March 16

Seventy-four Nepali migrant workers employed in the agricultural sector in Faro city in Portugal have been quarantined in a local school after they showed symptoms of the coronavirus.

The move comes after one of the workers tested positive for coronavirus in the EB 2/3 Santo António of Faro city.

Chhabilal Bagale, a Nepali based in Portugal, informed that the worker who tested positive for coronavirus was receiving treatment in a Faro hospital.

After the worker tested positive, the police and local authorities of Faro locked down the entire Nepali settlement camp and transferred them to the nearby quarantined camp, Bagale said.

“The virus-infected worker and his colleagues have been kept in the sports block of a local school and are being monitored by local health workers and border control agents,” he added.

The news was first reported by an online Portugal news site — Impala.

It has reported Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau as saying that they were working out the logistics to keep all the Nepalis in quarantine for 14 days — the incubation period of the virus.

Kumar Dahal, director general at the Department of Foreign Employment, acknowledged they had been informed about a worker testing positive for coronavirus in Portugal.

“As we do not have a consulate in Portugal, our embassies in France and Spain are looking into the matter and we expect to receive all the related details tomorrow.”

According to him, all the 74 Nepali migrant workers, including the one infected by the virus, are safe.

Officials of the Nepali missions in France and Spain could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The DoFE estimates that around 30,000 Nepalis live in Portugal and there are around 10,000 Nepalis in Spain. While a significant number of Nepalis also work in Germany, Denmark, Norway and other European countries, the government does not have the exact figures.

A version of this article appears in print on March 17, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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