800,000 doses of Chinese vaccine arrive in Kathmandu; Indian Army gifts 100,000 shots to Nepal Army

A total of 800,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm and provided by China as a grant to Nepal arrived Kathmandu today.

The Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, handed over the vaccines to Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi at the Tribhuwan International Airport on Monday morning.

The vaccines were brought to Kathmandu on a chartered flight of Nepal Airlines from Beijing International Airport. The plane had left for China on Sunday to ferry the vaccines.

Though China had initially, on January 31, promised to provide 300,000 doses of vaccine to Nepal, it later announced on March 1 to provide 800,000 doses.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army has provided 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to the Nepal Army. A military team of the Indian Embassy handed over the vaccine to Nepal Army officials at the Tribhuwan International Airport on Sunday.

According to Nepal Army Spokesperson Santosh Ballabh Poudel, the vaccines will be administered to army soldiers and their families.

“As many as 100,000 doses of vaccine sent by the Indian Army has arrived in Kathmandu and a formal handover of the vaccines will take place in a few days,” he said.

On January 21, the Government of India had provided Nepal with one million doses of the Covishield vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India as a grant under its ‘neighborhood first’ policy.

Nepal later received another one million shots of Covishield bought from India whereas remaining one million shots, as per the purchase deal, have yet to arrive.

Nepal has also received 348,000 doses of Covishield vaccines under the COVAX facility. Under the facility, Nepal will get a total of 2.2 million doses of vaccine.

So far, 3.148 million doses of anti-COVID shots have been delivered to Nepal, including the newly arrived vaccines from China. Out of which, about 1.6 million doses of vaccine have been used, according to the Ministry of Health.