Appeal for assistance against COVID-19

Correspondence by government to 7 foreign countries to provide healthcare items to Nepal

KATHMANDU: The government has appealed for help from foreign countries after the second wave of coronavirus infection spread rapidly in the country.

The government has written to more than seven countries demanding the supply of essential supplies, including vaccines, oxygen, and ventilators. According to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sewa Lamsal, letters were sent to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Russia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry wrote to these countries a year ago asking them to provide oxygen cylinders, ventilators, ultrasound, PPE and other materials. Spokesperson Lamsal said that it was not certain whether the health supplies would come from the countries to which Nepal had corresponded. 

400 oxygen cylinders and 10 ventilators provided by China arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Preparations are underway to bring additional health supplies to Kathmandu by land.

According to the Ministry of Health, during the second wave of COVID-19, Nepal has not received any health products from countries other than China and the USA. The Ministry of Health has compiled a list of essential items for COVID patients and submitted it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Ganesh Srivastava, Assistant Information Officer at the Ministry of Health, said that a list of essential items to be brought from other countries has been compiled and submitted to foreign countries. “But so far, no materials have been received from countries other than China and the USA,” he said.

During the first wave of COVID-19, South Korea, India, China, Switzerland, UNICEF, USAID, Qatar Embassy, ​​Cambodian government and others provided health care to Nepal. USAID provided 100 units of ventilators, while others provided PPEs, gloves, masks, sanitizers, PCR kits, glasses, and gowns.

India and China provided 1 million and 500,000 doses of vaccine against COVID-19, respectively.

In his address to the nation last year, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been given the responsibility of importing health products including vaccines. Following the Prime Minister’s directive, the Foreign Ministry has activated all its partners and missions. 

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