KATHMANDU – Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi has said that China is willing to continue to promote vaccine cooperation with Nepal and facilitate its procurement and use of vaccines to help win the battle against the pandemic at an earlier date and contribute to the return to normal of economic and social activities in Nepal.
Speaking at a ceremony to handover China-gifted Covid vaccines to the Government of Nepal, Chinese Ambassador Yanqi said that this batch of vaccines is full of profound friendly feelings from the Chinese people to the Nepali people.
China has provided 800,000 Covid vaccines to Nepal as gifts. The vaccines produced by Sinopharm are expected to contribute to the Nepal government’s vaccination campaign and help prevent and control the pandemic and revive the economy, according to Chinese Ambassador Yanqi.
Chinese vaccines as gifts come at a time when the nation-wide vaccination drive in Nepal has come to a halt amid shortages of jabs.
Though Nepal was administering Covishield vaccines produced by Serum Institute of India, the inoculation campaign was halted after the Indian producer delayed the delivery of vaccines that it had agreed to supply to Nepal.
Out of two million doses ordered by the Government of Nepal, the Serum Institute of India has delivered only one million doses.
The delay led to a halt of Nepal’s vaccination campaign. Chinese vaccines are expected to ease the shortages of jabs in Nepal that is inoculating its population on a priority basis.
“It is another solid testimony to the two people standing in solidarity and helping each other in trying times. It also fully demonstrates the high level of China-Nepal strategic cooperative partnership and is a vivid illustration and active practice of the China-Nepal community with a shared future,” said Ambassador Yanqi.
Stating that Covid-19 is the common enemy faced by human beings, she also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had announced solemnly that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good.
According to Chinese Ambassador Yanqi, China has so far donated or is donating Covid vaccines to 80 countries including Nepal and is exporting vaccines to 43 countries.
China has also joined COVAX, under which China has undertaken to provide an initial 10 million doses for emergency use in developing countries explicitly.
“The safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines have been fully tested. And Chinese vaccines have been well received by the recipient countries and people,” she added.