First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The Tatopani custom point, which was closed immediately the day it had resumed operations in the first week of October after some employees tested COVID-19 positive, has again reopened. Along with the resumption of the checkpoint the country has begun importing goods from China by adopting new health safety measures at the checkpoint from Thursday.
The Tatopani custom point, which had been closed for a long time since the earthquake in 2015, was reopened but only for a short time as it had to be closed due to the lockdown that was imposed by the government in March.
Although it had reopened on several occasions after March it had to be closed time and again due to obstructions created by natural calamities and the coronavirus. China had recently refused to allow the import and export of goods through the checkpoint after some Nepali employees at the checkpoint were found to be infected with the coronavirus.
As a result, tens of containers carrying imported goods were stuck on the Chinese side. However, Chinese traders have now started sending the stranded goods to Nepal by taking necessary precautionary measures at the checkpoint to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
According to Lal Bahadur Khatri, head of the customs office at Tatopani, goods are being imported after implementation of a new modality of health standards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He said that the Chinese containers are being brought to the old customs yard or Miteri Bridge on the Nepal side to deliver the goods.
Meanwhile, only after the Chinese containers are sent back from the Miteri Bridge are Nepali workers and containers allowed to load the goods.
There has been an arrangement for the workers to load and unload goods in isolated areas with safety measures to minimize the risk of contamination.
Likewise, Nepali workers loading goods are kept in quarantine and a PCR test is arranged for them every 14 days. Similarly, an arrangement has been made to disinfect the Nepali vehicles that are used for loading the goods.
According to the customs office, four to six containers of goods are being imported daily after the checkpoint reopened.
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