– Madhukar Adhikari
Washington DC, April 5 : Nepalese Americans living in various parts of the US have also been affected by the Coronavirus that has taken huge toll in the country.
So far, one Nepali-origin American citizen is reported to have died while around 500 have been infected with the COVID-19 disease. However, the number could not be independently verified.
The Nepali Embassy in US has released telephone numbers for those willing to seek assistance for any distress or support while a form has been included in the Embassy website to fill out.
Talking to us, Nepali Ambassador to US Dr Arjun Karki said the Embassy has made diplomatic communication with the US government to address the problems that Nepalis are facing including the expiry of VISA and others concerns. Many Nepalis on a tourist VISA are in a risk of overstay after their VISA has expired.
Meanwhile, Nepalese American State Legislator Harry Bhandari said his office was taking various measures to support the Nepali-speaking US population, including consultation and unemployment allowances.
Bhandari also serves at the Health and Government Operation Committee member in the Maryland General Assembly. Bhandari said he was also working with federal legislators to address the concerns of his constituents as well as the Nepalese Americans.
Likewise, former chair of NRNA Dr Keshav Poudel said psychological distress in the Nepalis in US is very high since the pandemic broke out in the country. Around 500 Nepalis are believed to have been infected by the Coronavirus, he said. Many of them are in self-quarantine.
Nepalese American Anil Limbu, living in New York, died last week from Coronavirus. Nepalis are found in high number in New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Virgian, Colorado and other cities of the US. The highest number is believed to be in New York at around 40,000.
According to Society of American Nepalese Nurses (SANN) Chair Manju Sangraula, all the 300 nurses affiliated to SANN are in active duty at the moment.
Furthermore, NRNA Global Health Committee chair Dr Sanjib Sapkota told RSS that the Committee has collected details about the infection in the Nepalese community. So far, around 500 are estimated to have been infected by the Coronavirus, of which more than 80 per cent are in home-based isolation.