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Kalo Kaag

Nepal-Promotion

Nach dem größen Erdbeben in Nepal ist die Idee mit dem Blog entstanden, weil ich meine Erfahrungen, Erlebnisse und Gedanken in die Welt hinaustragen möchte.

This blog was started after the great earthquake in Nepal with the thought to share the experiences and thoughts with the wider world.

2nd confirmed corona case in Nepal

Corona Diaries Posted on Mon, March 23, 2020 21:04:29

We knew it would come, sooner or later it would come. It was only a matter of time.
Nepal had till 22nd of March only one confirmed case of corona. I was myself very much puzzled, WHY?
Nepal boarders to China. Corona has been an endemic in China and started in China 3 months ago. Nepal has since then definitely had a lot of Chinese tourists.
Apart from that Nepal shares an open border to India. India has it’s two states- Bihar and UP bordering Nepal. UP has several confirmed corona cases.
Still Nepal has had only one confirmed corona case- apparently a nepalese student from Wuhan, China. He has already recovered and gone back home almost a month ago.
Experts here in Nepal think that there are corona cases among the population but it has not been able to tested. Nepal has, for now, only a capacity of 500 tests per week. But frankly saying these test only help us determine the prevalence. But if there are cases which has not been detected, there still must be the severe cases that should show itself up in the hospitals. But there has not been a single confirmed tested case among the suspicious cases at the hospitals.

But there has been a second confirmed case today, on 23rd of March. Apparently a 19 year old student, a returnee from France on the 17th of march on Qatar Airways via Doha has COVID-19. 

This has certainly sent a chill to the people of Nepal. The government has been trying to track all the people who has had a contact with this patient.
After this the Nepalese government has issued a complete lockdown of the country from 24th of March.
We also had a special meeting among the family members to apply more strict measures to protect the family from oncoming risks. 

Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst…



Quarantine

Corona Diaries Posted on Mon, March 23, 2020 20:43:08

Being a doctor and a family father myself, I need to take this corona issue seriously. Although there is only a single corona case here in Nepal till this date (18th of March), we have decided for myself and my family, that we will go in a self quarantine.
We’ve thus reduced our steps out of the house completely. In the last four days we have only gone twice outside to get the most necessary things.
Kathmandu has been shutting down. Government has issued a set of suggestions not to leave the house unnecessarily. There’re also mixed thoughts and feelings among the people of Kathmandu. There are a lot of movements for social distancing and quarantine in the social media. Also the streets of Kathmandu seems to be less busier. Also a lot of people not form the city have already left the city.
It is indeed very different when you have a family of two small kids to go into quarantine, but it is not impossible. Also we have not so much space here at home, which makes things a bit harder. But we have been trying our best.
A healthy mind is the most important at this very moment. 



Flight cancellation

Corona Diaries Posted on Mon, March 23, 2020 18:46:27

The very next day after I arrived, I went to the head office of Turkish airline here in Kathmandu. There were rumors that the flight to Germany from Istanbul had been cancelled.
On arriving there I met couple of Germans who were also trying to get back home. There were still flights to Istanbul but the flights then onwards to Germany were already cancelled for unknown time.
Also a couple had their tickets changed from Qatar Airlines to Air India to Turkish Airlines since all of them had already cancelled their flights. We had no chance of getting back to Germany right now.
Also I felt, it is better to get stranded here in Nepal rather than in Istanbul with the kids. The other reason is that, if we leave Nepal right now, we will not be able to return back to Nepal, since Nepal immigration would not allow us back again, since our children and I are German passport holders.
I feel really bad for my colleagues that I can’t be there to help them in the time of need.
But I do believe that everything has a cause. The time will tell.
Life in the streets of Kathmandu seems to be pretty quite as of today, 18th of March. 



Re-Entry through Nepalese immigration

Corona Diaries Posted on Sun, March 22, 2020 05:55:08

We had never thought that the conditions would be so bad in the last time, that within days the situation would drastically change. We stayed 2 nights in the boat house in Alappuzha, Kerala. There we were detached with the outer world.
On Friday the 13th of March, we drove to Kochi from Alappuzha. On arriving at the hotel we had the connection to the outer world via internet.
In these few days things at the immigration in Nepal had hardened up. On-arrival Visa had been cancelled for 6 of the Nations including Germany.
The next update was that all the foreigners entering the country could only enter through the only international airport in Kathmandu. All the land entry points had been locked. The entry would only be permitted when one had a health certificate that proofed one negative of corona infection.

This was basically a blow to us. We had left Nepal for India on the 5th of March. We had been in Nepal from Germany since 15th of February. So we had to get a health certificate to enter Nepal since both my kids and I have German passports. 

In Kochi itself there was no means that we could get a certificate, since it was Friday and also the lab centers allocated by the Government were either in Calicut or Trivandrum, which are respectively more than 300 km away.
I was a bit nervous. There are rare situations in my life, that I’m nervous. Being sent through the army school at the age of almost 8, those 2 decades alone in Germany and my medical career has made me relatively calm. I was nervous not for me but for my family- wife and the two kids. Here I was with them in India. Although we are quite familiar with India, the people and the language, I’ve huge respect for the situations in India, since it can go pretty serious from one moment to the other.
I decided that whatever happens I need not to show any signs of nervousness to my family and the two nights we’ve planned to stay here in Kochi should be used to regenerate from the hard days and also as a preparation for the time to come.
Also Subu, our 3 years old son has been very weak since he had left Germany, since he has completely changed his nutrition and has been merely avoiding that. To keep him well functioning we have allowed him to drink coca cola, so that he has some energy, though he has not been taking proper food. In addition to this he developed fever.
Right now there are two major challenges to me right now. First not to show any signs of tensions regarding the situation and the ongoing illness of the children and to get that medical certificate so that I can bring my family to Nepal with a safe landing.

Two days we recovered in the nature of the lovely resort on the bank of the lovely river in Kochi. We stayed in the room and the hotel throughout the time. Once back to Bangalore on Sunday the 15th of March, we immediately went to the Victoria Memorial Hospital in Bangalore. It is one of the two sites for Corona-tests allocated by the Indian government here in Bangalore.
Life in India is absolute normal since the outbreak of Corona. There have been several cases, almost a hundred, here in India. Once we reached the hospital, we could seen with our own eyes that the hospital doctors only tested very limited cases. All the other cases were just turned down and sent back home. The two conditions were a history of contact with the positive COVID-19 case or a history of recent travel from the affected countries.
We showed them, that we have a German passport and came back from Germany on the 15th of February. In addition to that the kids had similar symptoms of flu with fever, cold and cough. We were directed from one place to the other. Life at the hospital seemed very much normal. People were taking no measures.
Once we told them our background and the symptoms, everyone was very much concerned. The swab tests were taken right away and we were dealt like aliens. My family was already taken in an ambulance to be deported to a quarantine. When I reached back, I had gone to deliver the swabs to the lab, my family were already seated on the back of the ambulance and had been asked several times how long would I take just to deliver the samples. 

Once back were then taken to a different place without any prior information. I felt like a prisoner with no rights. We had no other options rather than follow them right away.
We were taken to another hospital to a department of infectious diseases. We had to undergo a lot of formalities, had to fill up a lot of forms. We were then interviewed by a lady doctor, who was really very polite. After that we underwent some vital tests. This included a fever test and a pulse oximetry test. We were then suggested that we ought to stay in a self quarantine to protect ourselves.
Back at the hotel, we spent the two day just staying in, playing cards and watching Bollywood movies. On the second day we got the test results that both our children and I were negative. Apart to that, they said that my wife’s test were not accurate. They believed that there must have been some irregularities during the procedure of the swab probes taken and that needed to repeat the PCR Test. I needed to call again in the evening. But no one could be reached through the phone in the evening although I tried phoning multiple times.
On the third day I went to the lab myself to collect the report. The lab doctor told that they had some irregularities regarding the test of my wife and that they couldn’t give a report. I was still very much happy, since we three needed the test to get back to Nepal through the immigration. But my wife, who holds a nepalese passport, wouldn’t have any problems getting in.
We were still worried, if our flight from Bangalore to Kathmandu would fly today evening. Things are changing so fast and no body really can predict what would happen in couple of ours. We have nothing than to believe and pray upon it.
We reached Airport pretty early. Once the check in counter was opened, we saw that the flight was completely booked, since all the Nepalese residing in Bangalore were trying to get back. I had pretty early made up my mind that it would be better for me and my family to be stranded in Nepal rather than in India.
Check in, boarding and the flight went smoothly. Once we arrived in Nepal, we were summoned by the immigration authorities, but we were let in without any difficulties once we showed the test certificate.
It is very much interesting how the logic with the authorities work. My family, we traveled from Germany to Nepal together. Also we left to India from Nepal together and have been together all the time. Interesting is that she has the similar history as we have, but still don’t need a certificate?
Still we were very much happy to have been able to re-entry Nepal. It would really have been a disaster, if we were stranded in India. Let’s see how the things develop in the days to come.