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Fear, Stigma and Othering: The Impact of COVID-19 Rumours on Returnee Migrants and Muslim Populations of Nepal.

Regmi, P. R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Aryal, N., Wasti, S. P. and van Teijlingen, E., 2022. Fear, Stigma and Othering: The Impact of COVID-19 Rumours on Returnee Migrants and Muslim Populations of Nepal. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, 8986.

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The paper explores how COVID-19-related moral panics have led to fear and oth-ering practices among returnee Nepalese migrants from India and Muslims living in Nepal. This qualitative study included in-depth interviews with returnee migrants (n=15), Muslims (n=15) from Kapilvastu and Banke districts of Nepal, and eight inter-views with media and health professionals, and representatives from migration organ-isations. Four themes emerged from our data analysis: 1) rumours & mis/disinformation; 2) impact of rumours on marginalised groups (with three sub-themes: i) perceived fear; ii) othering practices; iii) health & social impact); 3) re-sistance; and 4) institutional response against rumours. Citation: Lastname, F.; Lastname, F.; Lastname, F. Title. Sustainability 2022, 14, x. Academic Editor: Firstname Last-name Received: date Accepted: date Published: date Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and insti-tutional affiliations. Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Submitted for possible open access publication under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Findings suggest that rumours and misinformation were fuelled by various media platforms, especially social media (e.g. Facebook & YouTube) during the initial months of the lockdown. This created a moral panic which led to returnee migrants and Mus-lim populations experiencing fear and social isolation. Resistance and effective institu-tional responses to dispel rumours were limited. A key contribution of the paper is to highlight the lived experiences of COVID- 19 related rumors on marginalised groups. The paper argues that there is a need for clear government action using health promo-tion messages to tackle rumours (health-related or otherwise), mis/disinformation and mitigating the consequences (hatred and tensions) at the community level.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:COVID-19; migrants; Muslim; moral panic; stigma; fear; Nepal
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:37269
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:25 Jul 2022 15:32
Last Modified:25 Jul 2022 15:32


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