By CK Khanal
Kathmandu, Mar 30: Altogether a total of 1,255 foreign tourists and Nepali guides stranded in different places have been rescued in coordination of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) by Sunday.
Those tourists were stranded due to the lockdown imposed by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Dhananjaya Regmi, chief executive officer of NTB, said that tourists who came in contact of NTB officials formally or informally were rescued from different tourist destinations via air and roads.
Of the total rescued, 562 were recorded as stranded in the crisis management cell of the NTB and others were rescued through informal communication, he added.
Of the total, 868 were rescued via air and 569 were rescued via buses, he said.
Regmi informed that a total of 291 persons - 158 from Lukla, including 54 Nepali guides and porters and 133 from Pokhara - were rescued on Sunday alone.
He informed that 54 Nepali guides and porters were among those tourists rescued from Lukla.
Maximum number of tourists was rescued on Saturday. A total of 662 tourists were rescued on Saturday. Embassies of respective countries have sent their rescued citizens to their countries in different places of Nepal.
On Saturday a total of 608 European tourists, including 305 Germans were airlifted to their country via two charter flights of Qatar Airways. Similarly, a charter plane of the same airline had airlifted 307 German citizens including three infants from Kathmandu on Friday.
Raj Kumar KC, spokesperson of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said that the Australian Embassy was planning to airlift Australian and citizens of New Zealand on 1st April through a charter plane of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC).
Archana Khadka, spokesperson of NAC, also confirmed about the process started by Australian embassy to charter NAC’s wide-body aircraft.