KATHMANDU, June 17: South Korean government has provided some 40,000 complete sets of RT-PCR test kits to Nepal to help conduct mass testing of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
The RT-PCR test kits worth USD 765,000 were handed over to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on Tuesday. While half of the test kits arrived in Kathmandu airport on Tuesday, the remaining others are expected to arrive in Kathmandu on June 20 by a chartered flight.
Acting Ambassador of South Korea to Nepal Sun Chil Kwon handed over the kits to Chief Specialist, Health Co-ordination Division at the MoHP Dr. Roshan Pokhrel at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
South Korean NGO Good Neighbors International (GNI) also participated in the handover ceremony, as it supported more than 10,000 complete sets of RT-PCR test kits worth USD 144,000 to the MoHP. The MoHP can conduct over 50 thousand tests of COVID-19 with this support received from South Korea.
The supported PCR test kits are complete sets, composed of three different types of kits required for stable diagnosis of Covid-19.These kits were finalized after consultation with MoHP and they are fully compatible with almost all the equipment used by the public health labourites of Nepal, according to a press statement issued by KOICA Office in Kathmandu.
Earlier, KOICA supported PPEs, masks, surgical masks, surgical gloves and sanitizer worth USD 77,000 to four different hospitals in Nepal with the aim to strengthen the ability of hospitals and health workers to handle COVID-19 cases. Of them, three are government-run hospitals constructed by KOICA itself, while one other is a community hospital.
Besides these assistance, KOICA has also launched various awareness campaign activities against COVID-19 such as producing YouTube videos and inviting renowned personal on Stay Strong online relay campaigns, according to the statement.
During the handover event, Acting Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nepal Kwon expressed hope that the assistance would support the MoHP to conduct mass testing of the citizens across Nepal as this is the most urgent action in the current scenario in Nepal.