Dateline Birgunj – III by Madhuri Mahato

Photo: Madhuri Mahato/

“The number of cases was already going down, shops were opening, people were feeling safe to get back to work. There was a sense of normalcy returning to Birgunj. But that didn’t last long because the cases started surging. We heard that people are dying in hospitals. Now there is a curfew in the city. They say that the curfew is indefinite. Doctors say that there are more asymptomatic patients. I am scared, am I one of them? When the lockdown opened, was I careless? I may have gone out without a mask. I worry that I may have got the virus too. They have started mass testing in Birgunj, but I am not sure when they will come to our area. There are private tests available, but I cannot afford Rs. 5,500. I haven’t worked in four months and it has been so hard to make ends meet. If I don’t get the tests now, will I infect my children? I am sick with worry, I feel like my brain has stopped working.”

-Sambhu Sah Kanu, Birgunj

Text and Photos: Madhuri Mahato @mmhisimmy

Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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