Kathmandu [Nepal], January 20 (ANI): It came as a great announcement for Nepal that a consignment of one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine was being given as assistance from India.
Announcing this at a press conference on Wednesday, Hridayesh Tripathi, Minister for Health and Population, thanked the Indian Government for extending help to the people of the Himalayas. The first batch of vaccines coming from India would be used to vaccinate frontline workers. The doses will land Kathmandu on Thursday, the Minister added.
"The Government of India has provided one million doses of vaccine against the COVID-19 in grant assistance," Tripathi said on Wednesday.
"The Covid vaccine that is favourable for us in terms of storage, supply and one that makes our vaccination drive successful will be landing in Kathmandu tomorrow (Thursday)," Minister Tripathi said.
India, earlier this month rolled out Covishield and Covaxin, the home grown vaccine to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Nepal earlier last week had also granted permission to use Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) for emergency use.
"It is an incomparable example of the relations between India and Nepal. The Government of India not only cares about its citizens but also about the citizens residing in neighboring countries. I would like to thank the Indian Government via our Indian Envoy," Minister Tripathi said.
As the Himalayan Nation is set to receive the first batch of vaccines from India under "Vaccine Maitri" campaign, the minister announced that it would be given to those working in managing the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients, security personnel and frontline, medical workers.
With a population of nearly 30 million, Government of Nepal plans to inoculate 72 percent of its citizens. The minister also announced that legal and financial preparations for rolling out of vaccine have been completed and everything is on set with vaccination drive soon to start in the Himalayan Nation.
Apart from the latest round of vaccine to Nepal, India earlier also had provided Nepal with medical equipment, medicines and other logistical support to fight the pandemic.
"When the pandemic outbreak took place last year, I think from the very first day, various elements of co-operation between India and Nepal to fight this pandemic started. They started because the whole world realized that the fight against COVID-19 is not a fight of one particular nation, society; it has to be a collective fight; it has to be a fight that can be won only if countries co-operate," Indian Envoy to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra said.
Co-operate with only one objective in mind, co-operate with the objective of benefitting people and freeing them from this problem of COVID-19 and hence as a result also unleash various other economic sources which has been remained constrained during the pandemic," Indian Envoy to Nepal added.
India's Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday had announced vaccine rollout for Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday which comes in line with its Neighbourhood First Policy.
India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries during the COVID19 pandemic.
Nepal till date has recorded a total 268, 310 cases of Corona Virus cases with 1975 deaths and 262,642 successful recoveries. Recovery rate of the Himalayan Nation now stands at 97.9 per cent. (ANI)