KATHMANDU, Jan 16: Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said that India has kept Nepal under priority to supply vaccines against COVID-19.
Talking to media persons upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport following a three-day official visit to India, Minister Gyawali said that India has expressed readiness to immediately provide vaccines against COVID-19 for essential sectors in Nepal.
“India has kept Nepal under priority to supply vaccines against COVID-19. It is ready to supply the vaccines immediately for the essential sector,” said Minister Gyawali. India is home to the world’s largest vaccine makers.
Indian authorities on January 4 gave a nod for the emergency use of two vaccines, one developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and another by Indian company Bharat Biotech.
On Saturday, India started inoculating health workers in what is likely the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign, joining the ranks of wealthier nations where the effort is already well underway. Nepal expects to receive early supply of the COVID-19 vaccines from India.
Minister Gyawali also informed that the two countries have reached an agreement to gradually open the air routes and land routes that remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate the movement of people across the border.
Minister Gyawali had reached New Delhi on Thursday to lead the Nepalese delegation in the sixth Joint Commission (JC) meeting. Gyawali informed that the two countries have agreed to immediately start the construction of Integrated Check Post in Bhairahawa, connect a four-lane bridge under construction in Mahakali River with India’s national highway, and build three additional bridges in the Mahakali River.
Among other things, Nepal and India have agreed to expedite the field location survey related to the Raxaul-Kathmandu Railway line, according to Gyawali.