Nepal brings back 654 citizens from Afghanistan

As many as 654 Nepali citizens have been brought back from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

“Some Nepali nationals were rescued and brought back to Doha, Dubai, London and New Delhi and we are continuously coordinating with different stakeholders to bring them back,” it said.

At least 900 Nepalis stranded there had contacted Nepali authorities and expressed their intent to return home, the ministry said.

A total of 361 Nepali nationals have registered their name and their local address of Afghanistan for returning back home, it said.

As civilian flights are not allowed, Nepal is coordinating with several friendly nations and employers inside Afghanistan to bring back its citizens.

The rescue operation is being carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Consular Services, and the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi.

Nepal said that around 15,00 Nepali citizens were working inside Afghanistan in various diplomatic missions as well as in some private companies.

For those who landed in Kathmandu, after completing the necessary procedures, the government officials take them to the dedicated holding centre for a health check up including Covid testing.

Besides testing for Covid, Nepali authorities have started administering polio vaccines to the returnees after it was reported that there has been an outbreak of polio cases in Afghanistan recently.

The Health Ministry has decided to vaccinate returnees from Afghanistan with free polio vaccines as a preventative measure, the Minister for Health and Population said.