KATHMANDU, March 27: As many as 800,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in China are expected to arrive in Nepal by Sunday.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi said on Saturday that they have already reached Beijing Capital International Airport to get transported to Nepal. “The 800,000 doses of China aid COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal have arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport. They are coming very soon!” the envoy wrote on her twitter.
Officials at the health ministry in Kathmandu said the vaccines are expected to arrive in Kathmandu by Sunday. The vaccine to be donated to Nepal is developed by Sinopharm and has already got approval for emergency use in Nepal.
China had earlier announced to provide 800,000 doses of Sinovac to Nepal under grant assistance. The northern neighbor had initially announced to provide 500,000 doses of Sinovac and later increased it by an additional 300,000 to support Nepal in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a telephone conversation with his Nepali counterpart, Pradeep Gyawali, in early February, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had expressed commitment to provide 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as a grant. Minister Wang also had said that Beijing would accord priority to Nepal in vaccine cooperation.
"Despite huge demands for the vaccines both in China domestically and across the world at present, the Chinese government has prioritized Nepal in providing the vaccines, fully demonstrating the great importance it attaches to the China-Nepal friendship," the embassy earlier said in a press statement.
Nepal has already received one million doses of Covishield vaccines from India in grants. In addition to this, Nepal has reached an agreement to procure two million doses of Covishield vaccines from India and one million doses of the vaccines has already arrived in Nepal.