Nepal will have to resist the adverse impact of the increasing threat of coronavirus which has claimed 170 human lives and infected more than 7,700 people in China alone, as of January 30, 2020.
The Nepali government is under high pressure to implement sophisticated measures to prevent possible spread of the virus in the country as the neighbouring country is battling to prevent the virus.
So far, Nepal has confirmed only one coronavirus case. A 32-year-old youth who had returned from China was infected with the coronavirus.
But, the epidemic outbreak of coronavirus in China has started alarming the Nepali tourism sector while the country has just inaugurated the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign.[UPDATE: Nepal Tourist Arrivals 2020: 2% Drop in January]
As a response to the outbreak, the Chinese Government has implemented travel restrictions across the country and moreover, the China Tourism Association has halted all outbound tourist groups since January 26, 2020.
These travel restrictions have led to the significant fall in the number of Chinese visitors to Nepal and started impacting the Nepali tourism sector that is expecting 2 million foreign tourists in 2020.
Even the third-country tourists are becoming cautious of visiting Nepal as the country has no proper healthcare infrastructure and shares most of its border with China.
Moreover, the outbreak has also affected the movement of Nepal-bound visitors who have been using China as the transit for their travel.
Apart from tourism, the outbreak has started affecting the Nepali bilateral trade with China as both countries have imposed trade movement restrictions at Nepal-China borders including the international crossing point Rasuwagadhi-Kerung.
Apart from alarming the Nepali health industry, the coronavirus has also started affecting the country’s trade with China. China is one of the prominent trading partners of Nepal. During the FY 2018-19, Nepal exported goods worth NPR 2.58 billion to China, while imports from China stood at NPR 214.80 billion.
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