Fear, Stigma and Othering: The Impact of COVID-19 rumours on marginalised population groups of Nepal

Grant number: COV19\201296

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    Nepal, South-East Asia
  • Lead Research Institution

    Bournemouth University, Health and Social Sciences
  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory


  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population

    Internally Displaced and MigrantsMinority communities unspecified

  • Occupations of Interest



There have been rumours of returnee migrant workers from India and Muslims (who had attended religious gatherings in Nepal and India) spreading COVID-19 in Nepal. These rumours are spread and exaggerated by social media and online news portals blatantly blaming these groups as COVID-19 carriers responsible for spreading the infections into communities. We aim to explore the extent and wider impact of such mis/disinformation and rumours on returnee Nepali migrants and Muslims and establish their resilience (if any) and coping strategies. This multi-method study comprises: (a) content analysis of media contents (newspapers, online news portals, YouTube), and (b) interviews with returnee Nepali migrants, Muslims and relevant key stakeholders. Findings from this study will help develop strategies to dispel rumours and mis/disinformation targeted to these socio-economically disadvantaged/minority population groups in Nepal. We will work closely with a Nepal-based charity for field work and dissemination of this study.