March 31: A total of 1,330 foreign tourists and local guides stranded at several destinations due to a nationwide lockdown against the coronavirus have been rescued, the state-run national news agency, RSS, reported.
According to RSS, sources at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) informed that those tourists were rescued from 19 different tourist destinations including Pokhara, Lukla, Taplejung, Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Muktinath, Langtang, Manaslu, Gorkha, Lete, Besisahar, Kande, Sankhuwasabha, Jhapa, Beni and Jhinudanda. They were rescued via chartered flights. Most of the tourists were rescued from Lukla in Solukhumbu district.
According to the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), eighty-five tourist guides were airlifted to Kathmandu from the Lukla region on Sunday and Monday. The rescue flights were made in cooperation with the NTB, RSS further said.
Different airlines companies, including Nepal Airlines Corporation (one), Sita Air (two) and Summit Air (two) had operated flights to bring 70 foreign tourists and their guides back to Kathmandu on Monday. Meanwhile, the Nepal Army has been granted permission to make rescue flights to Dhangadhi, Surkhet and Biratnagar, RSS cited CAAN spokesperson Raj Kumar Chhetri as saying.