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How will we remember 2020? The Record is republishing stories from a curated series of visual stories commissioned by photo.circle that presents the work of visual storytellers based across Nepal who began documenting their communities since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Nepal enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020 in response to the spreading Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of migrants were stuck outside of the country’s borders with no way to get back home. Nepali migrant workers in India began to return home in droves as the pandemic shut down industries, factories and most places of employment. 

Over just one weekend at the end of May, 19,000 Nepalis crossed the border into Nepal at Gauriphanta in Kailali. New arrivals are sent to quarantine and according to Narendra Karki, chief of the Health Division at the provincial Ministry of Social Development, 37,000 people have been quarantined since the lockdown was enforced. However, only 1,500 of those who arrived have been given Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. 

This story was produced for the Nepal Photo Project with support from the photo.circle 2020 grant.