China announces 1 mn Covid vaccine doses as grant to Nepal

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Kathmandu, May 26 (IANS) China on Wednesday announced to provide an additional one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Nepal under a grant assistance policy.

In a telephonic conversation with Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China would provide an additional one million vaccine doses to Nepal under grant assistance, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, announced on twitter.

Earlier in April, China had donated 8,00,000 Covid vaccine doses developed by Sinopharm to Nepal.

President Bhandari held an almost hour-long telephonic conversation with the Chinese President on Wednesday.

During the conversation, Bhandari requested Xi Jinping that Nepal is looking forward to purchasing vaccines manufactured in China for the people of the Himalayan country.

She also made an appeal to the Chinese government to make the vaccines available for procurement at the earliest.

While appreciating Xi Jinping’s public announcement that anti-Covid vaccines should be global public goods, President Bhandari also thanked China for providing Nepal with 8,00,000 doses of vaccine earlier, Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The President of Nepal also requested the Chinese government to facilitate the procurement of Covid vaccines from China, the statement added.

Acknowledging the difficulties Nepal has been facing due to the second wave of the pandemic, Xi Jinping expressed full support of his government to Nepal in its fight against Covid-19.

The Chinese President also assured that Nepal will remain a priority for China in vaccine support and cooperation.