KATHMANDU – Nepal has urged the United Nations to provide vaccines that it is supposed to get from the Covax facility. Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel during his telephone conversation with Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, Friday sought the UN facilitation so that Nepal could receive the vaccines it is entitled by the World Health Organisation under the Covax facility.
“Vaccination is the sole means to stem the spread of virus, that’s why we hope facilitation from the UN to get Covid vaccines from the Covax facility,’’ the Deputy Prime Minister said, adding that Nepal wished to get the UN support and cooperation in the managements of ventilator, PPE, oxygen cylinder, oxygen concentrator, mobile oxygen plant, medicines, vaccine and other related materials, required human resources including specialists and for the preparations of infrastructure to set up Covid -19 temporary health facilities.
He informed the UN official that the diplomatic efforts on behalf of the government were underway to provide vaccination service to the Nepali citizens. “We believe that Covid-19 vaccine is the concern of the people globally and the matter where it was developed and manufactured should not be the reason for hampering solidarity in humanitarian action.”
In response, the UN Resident Coordinator pledged her best to help Nepal get vaccines. She also expressed her wish to meet the Deputy Prime Minister in-person for further discussions on the issue, according to the DPM’s press coordinator Ganesh Pandey.
Nepal is supposed to get Astra Zeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India sufficient for 20 percent of its population and so far the supply under the facility is just 348,000 doses. Of two million doses of vaccines procured by the government, only one million has been achieved and the remaining shipment is yet to arrive.
Likewise, Nepal has received one million doses of vaccines from the Indian Governments on grants, 800,000 doses from China and the Nepali Army has received 100,000 doses from the Indian Army.