Coronavirus vaccine doses arrive Nepal from India
The one million doses of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine- Covishield, which was dispatched on day-2 of India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative has reached Kathmandu on Thursday. India followed the “neighborhood first” policy, and Maldives and Bhutan were the first two countries to receive the vaccines from India and the doses arrived on Wednesday.
150,000 doses of the vaccine reached Bhutan while 100,000 doses were sent to the Maldives.
“The AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India, will be first administered to health workers and other front-line workers within 10 days,” Nepal Health Minister, Hridayesh Tripathi said.
Tripathi added ‘Nepal would like to purchase 4 million more doses, and asked for the Indian government’s help but there was no immediate response from India’s side”.
More doses will be sent to Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Seychelles in the coming weeks. There were also plans to provide vaccines to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius, after “confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances”, the ministry added.
“It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” the external affairs ministry had said.
A day before the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative began, PM Modi Tuesday tweeted, “India is deeply honored to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of Corona vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead.”
Nepal health minister Hridayesh Tripathi said, “the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India, will be given to health workers and other front-line personnel within a week to 10 days”.
Relations between India and Nepal have been disturbed by a territorial dispute which led to an exchange of statements from both sides.
India had also accused Nepal’s Communist government of becoming close to neighbor China.