New Delhi: A week after Nepal requested for COVID-19 vaccines from India, the country has got 1 million doses of “made in India” vaccines. Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali had requested the vaccines during the last Friday’s India-Nepal 6th joint commission meeting in Delhi.
A plane carrying Serum Institute of India manufactured Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine — COVISHIELD reached Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport. Nepal’s Health minister Hridayesh Tripathi, Minister of State Nabaraj Rawat, Secretary Laxman Aryal and Indian envoy to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra were present at the site.
Speaking on the occasion, the Indian envoy said, “In exactly a week’s time, since the External Affairs Minister of India promised Foreign Minister, on supply of vaccines, we have the actual consignment right here in front us on the land of Nepal to be used.”
Nepal is among the six countries that received Indian-manufactured COVID-19 vaccines within five days of India’s own domestic roll-out. Other five countries are–Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Seychelles.
Calling it gifting of vaccine a “special moment”, envoy Kwatra said, “It is a moment that is synonymous of the deep and abiding friendship between both our countries. The people of Nepal, their safety and prosperity has always been at the heart of all our bilateral ventures with Nepal and so is this gift of COVID19 vaccines.”
Further, he said, “We stand with Nepal in defeating the virus and we will do whatever it takes in our joint fight to prevail over the pandemic. The vaccines are a gift from the people of India to the people of Nepal.”
The vaccines is expected to help Nepal in dealing with its immediate requirements for vaccinating Nepal’s COVID warriors – the health care and the frontline workers. India has provided more than 25 tonnes of essential medicines, equipment and medical supplies to Nepal during the pandemic.
The Indian support includes– Paracetamol, Hydroxychloroquine, PPEs, diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Remdesivir injections under grant assistance worth US $2 million.