Corona virus and its impact on Nepalese tourism, Corona virus! COVID-19! These are the names that are creating fear in the heart of people worldwide. With so many infected and so many deaths, the virus is surely something more that everyone had ever expected. The virus was first identified in the Wuhan city of Central China. It was a new kind of virus, highly infectious that shows flu like symptoms such as cough, fever and in much adverse case difficulty in breathing. No sooner, the fact that it was communicable and it was transmitted from one human to another so rapidly came to limelight. China was already aware of the situation and was trying their every best for taking the situation under control. While the rest of the world was not so serious about the issue. And as it was already destined, the virus spread out of China and so rapidly that the whole world is on a shock. At present, the death toll in Italy has alarmed all the people worldwide. With dead tolls higher that the epicenter China, Spain is also in the row with high number of dead tolls due to COVID-19. At present, the virus is affecting 198 countries around the globe with more than 9,352,645 corona virus cases, 479,777 deaths and over 3,831,731 active caseswith numbers increasing rapidly day to day.
With this ongoing pandemic, many countries around the globe are compelled to take some harsh steps like cutting off the international flights, locking down the borders, people lock down, lock down of high alert cities and lockdown of the entire country. Countries are taking harsh steps because sooner or later the virus is coming to you unless you stop yourself from the virus. While some countries have been successful enough to control the virus, many of them have failed to control the spreading of virus. And, even the second wave of the pandemic is expected in many countries who have somehow controlled the pandemic after strict movement control measures.
So, what actually is coronavirus aka COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The outbreak of this virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019. It was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.
The virus is typically spread during close contact via respiratory droplets produced when people cough or sneeze. The time between exposure and symptom onset is typically around five days, but may range from 2 to 14 days.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Vaccine and Treatment – There is no known vaccine or specific antiviral treatment. Primary treatment is symptomatic and supportive therapy.
Recommended preventive measures include hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing, maintaining distance from other people, and monitoring and self-isolation for people who suspect they are infected.
The impact on COVID-19 in Nepalese tourism
Nepal had a huge expectation from tourism this year in 2020. The government had really focused on tourism as a source of sustainable income for people around the country. With an aim of uplifting the lifestyle of the people and the economy of the country, government along with all the private/ public companies working in tourism had invested hugely in the field. But who would have thought that a pandemic would affect the entire world so badly? Now, travel restrictions as a measure to stop transmission of coronavirus has massively affected the tourism worldwide. So, how could a small country like Nepal would remain untouched? Though Nepal had no death records due to coronavirus and only three people were infected till March, the number grew exponentially till June and is expected to rise. More than 13,000 cases of COVID-19 infected patients have been tested in Nepal amongst which 2224 patients have recovered while 30 couldn’t fight back with the noble corona virus and lost their lives.
To stop the pandemic, Nepal government had ordered travel ban until next notice and lock down for around three months. However, the harsh step of the government couldn’t control the spreading of virus. Majority of Nepalese population are spread around the globe as migrant workers. When migrant workers returned back to Nepal, the cases of virus rose exponentially.
At first, the government had notified to cancel the on arrival visa for few countries. Then slowly, the travelers from infected countries were banned. And, after the case of corona virus was seen in Nepal, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal had ordered all the trekking agencies to halt the trekking activities. As a result, all the bookings were cancelled. More than 11,000 trekking permits were issued in March but almost all were cancelled. All the trekking activities were cancelled, but the agencies had hope on hiking and tour activities around the capital city. But the travel bans and lock down blew off the little hope that the agencies had for the upcoming trekking season.
With the onset of the trekking season, the trekking trails are now without a trace of trekkers. Almost all the hotels, lodges and guesthouses are closed. The guide and porters whose day to day income was based on trekking have lost their job and are compelled to stay at home. The businesses have lost their money and whether they will be able to combat the losses is still a huge question?The three months long lockdown has effected every business sector and living standard of people have gone done. The poverty is expected to increase in Nepal due to this pandemic.
However, all these issues are not no important for now. We know that many people around the globe have lost their lives because of this virus. Many of them are infected and the numbers are increasing.
So, let’s come together to support each other. Let’s obey the safety guidelines issued by WHO and respective authorities. The travel ban, lock down, etc. are meant for a reason and as a responsible individual it’s our responsibility to abide by every safety measure. The entire world is crying and is in fear of this virus. Let’s pray to God that everything will be alright soon. Like every other bad times, this time will pass soon. And, then we shall smile together once again.
Himal Eco Treks would like to request everyone to take all the safety measures as far as possible from your side because in this crucial situation every effort count. Every individual can bring a change. We shall try not only for us, but for the world. Your one negligence and many of them may have to suffer. Therefore, do not panic, but take every wise step. With a proper co-ordination, we can break the chain!
Wherever you are, be safe, stay safe! And, once this is over, we shall meet again to explore the wilderness of Himalayas and nature! The life full of fun and adventure shall begin again!
Making travel plans post Covid-19 pandemic?
We know that it’s going to be really tough! With the current wave of pandemic around the globe, travelling across the border is stillunimaginable! Whatever the circumstances, the scenario is not going to be like this forever. Either a vaccine will be developed or the mankind will get used to it. The virus has taught us one thing for sure. Self-help is the best help. We should adopt healthy habits and safety measures for our own good. So, don’t stay sad that life is not like how it used to be. Everything had an ending and so does the virus. For now, make plans! What are the things that you would like to do after the pandemic is over?
Make a list of places you want to travel and explore about the places because once everything is over, you may not get time to explore. There are many unseen and unheard places in the world that are worth a visit. If you are planning to see some mountains; there is no place better than Nepal. To know more about mountains and explore about the trekking options, make sure that you look after Himal Eco Treks. We are here to fulfill your queries and help you plan your travel post COVID-19!
Our anoter update on covid-19 : How the effect of COVID-19 ( Corona Virus) on Tourism in Nepal
By: Himal Eco Treks and Himalayan Eco Guides Team