KATHMANDU, May 3: Amid sharp spike in the cases of COVID-19, Nepal has requested the US government to provide COVID-19 vaccines.
Sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Nepal has already placed its request before the US government. This is part of the government's efforts to get COVID-19 vaccines from all countries possible to fight against the pandemic.
Taking to his twitter recently, former Health Minister and a youth leader of Nepali Congress (NC) Gagan Thapa had urged Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali to seek help from the US government to procure COVID-19 vaccines. He argued that the US government was in position to support other countries like as the situation of COVID-19 pandemic had significantly improved lately in the US.
In response, Minister Gyawali had informed that the ministry had expedited the necessary process to get COVID-19 vaccines from the US.
"I can confirm the request is in Washington. President Biden has made clear that as long as this virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. The United States is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available," said Information Officer at the US Embassy in Nepal Anna Richey-Allen.
The United States is the largest donor to COVAX, and has committed $2 billion to the program, with another $2 billion to come. Nepal was among the first in Asia to receive COVAX donations.
Information Officer Richey-Allen, however, said they are seeing the possibility to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal. "We have nothing additional to announce at this time," she said in an email response to the query of Republica.
"As Secretary of State has noted: “I know that many countries are asking for the United States to do more, some with growing desperation because of the scope and scale of their COVID emergencies. We hear you. And I promise, we’re moving as fast as possible,” she further said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has stood with the people and Government of Nepal in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.The US government on Saturday announced to provide an additional $8.5 million in emergency response funding support to Nepal to combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.