Nepal-India relations, India provides a million doses of vaccines against COVID-19

RSS (KATHMANDU, 21 Jan 2021) – One million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 has arrived in Nepal. The vaccines provided by India as grant assistance were brought by Air India flight this afternoon.

Ambassador of India to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the consignment of vaccines called ‘Covishield’ to Minister for health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi at the Tribhuvan International Airport. On the occasion, minister Tripathi thanked the Government of India for providing the vaccines as grant assistance even during the adverse situation. He said the vaccines would be helpful in controlling COVID-19.

The vaccines doses would be stored in the Central Storage at the Department of Health Services at Teku. It is said the Covishield vaccine was 70 per cent effective in India. It can be stored at temperature of minus two degree Celsius to minus eight degrees Celsius. The first dose of the vaccines would be given to health workers, hospital cleaning staff, ambulance drivers and people managing dead bodies. Indian ambassador Kwatra expressed the belief that COVID-19 would now come under control in Nepal with the availability of the vaccine. Director of the Child health and Vaccination Section at the Department, Dr Jhalak Sharma Gautam said the vaccines would be supplied to the bProvince and District hospitals.

The government has the target of vaccinating 72 per cent of the total population against COVID-19. The one million doses of the vaccines brought in the first phase would be given to 500 thousand people in two doses. The government has made preparations to bring 20 per cent of vaccines free of cost under the COVAX Facility mechanism. Apart from the vaccines coming under the COVAX nechanism which would be enough for 20 per cent of the population, the government will bring the remaining 52 per cent vaccines through the government-to-government, the public procurement regulations and bidding process. Indian government has announced to provide vaccine to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar and Seychelles.

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