Prem Sagar Poudel-
Chairman, Nepal-China Mutual Co-opration Soceity :
After being betrayed by India, Nepal is now dependent on Chinese vaccines. Nepal has not been able to get the vaccine paid to India six months ago.
When Nepal decided to buy the vaccine, there were three options. It was decided to import the vaccine from India, citing storage problems when importing the vaccine from China and Russia. In India, the Serum Institute of India has been producing a vaccine developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom under the name Covishield. The vaccine is said to be more than 70 percent effective.
The United States has not yet authorized the use of Covishield, which has dumped 60 million vials. India had decided to provide one million doses of Covishield to Nepal on 6th Magh. Minister for Health Hridesh Tripathi and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra held a joint press conference in Kathmandu on 7th Magh to provide information about the vaccine provided by India. After the vaccine was imported from India, vaccination against corona was started in Nepal on January 30.
China, for the first time, announced to provide 300,000 vials vaccine on 18th Magh. In a statement issued by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 23rd Magh, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured to provide 500,000 vaccines against the corona virus to Nepal. Wang made the commitment in a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali. After Wang’s commitment, it was ensured that Nepal would receive 800,000 vials of vaccine grant from China. The vaccine was handed over to Health Minister Hridesh Tripathi at the Tribhuvan International Airport on 16th Chaitra by Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi.
Infection was spreading in Nepal at a high rate when India blocked vaccines to Nepal. At the same time, President Vidyadevi Bhandari had a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on 12th Jeshth. President Xi immediately announced that 1 million vaccines would be given to Nepal. The second dose of this vaccine has been given from 22nd Ashadh. The vaccination campaign will be continued as vaccines come from China every week.
“As per the recent agreement between the government of Nepal and the Beijing-based Sinopharm Company of China to procure the vaccine, the supply will start from 24th Ashadh and thereafter, the vaccine will be supplied at different stages on a weekly basis,” Ministry spokesperson Dr. Krishna Prasad Poudel said, “After the arrival of the vaccine from China, the vaccination program started on 22nd Ashadh will be continued.”
“If 33 percent of the population is vaccinated against corona at the end of Asoj, the rapid spread of the disease can be prevented,” said Health Ministry Secretary Laxman Aryal. “So far, 2.6 million people have taken the first dose and 0.7 million or 2.3 percent the second dose. The government’s thinking will be fulfilled when there will be continuous vaccination from China. ‘
The government has been giving the Chinese vaccine to the public since the first phase. The Indian vaccine was given to high-ranking officials, health workers and journalists. Since then, the first dose of the Indian vaccine given to senior citizens has not got second dose vaccine around 1.3 million people.
In Nepal, 1.8 million doses of Vero-cell produced by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm have been used. So far no problems have been reported among the users of Vero-cell. Chief of the Family Welfare Division, Child Health and National Immunization Program, Dr. Jhalak Sharma Gautam said that the Vero-cell is safe. “We have introduced vaccines listed by the World Health Organization,” he said. The effectiveness of such vaccines has already been tested. Because of its safety, the Chinese vaccine is the first of its kind for the people.
Narayan Khanal, who was administering the second dose of Vero-cell at Om Hospital on 23rd Ashadh, said that no negative effect was seen within a month of applying the first dose. He said, ‘I was relieved by taking the second dose of Vero-cell. Now the confidence to survive from the corona infection has increased. Journalist Menuka Karki also said that she left the Covishield and taken Vero-cell. She said that the journalist was given Covishield vaccines. At that time, she was thinking about why to vaccinate. Later, when it was time to take Vero-cell, she had taken it at Bir Hospital.’
I have also received two doses of the Chinese vaccine Vero-cell. The Chinese vaccine has not had any negative effects and I have not been infected by corona. This Chinese vaccine is safe and also natural. At this time, the number of people wishing to get Chinese vaccine is increasing in Nepal. The Chinese vaccine is the first of its kind because of its safety. However, the Government of Nepal, under the influence of the Commission and Indo-Western, has been delaying the delivery of the required Chinese vaccine. The people are outraged by the government’s negligence.
Remember, China had repeatedly committed its full support to Nepal at a time when the Corona infection was on the rise. Even then, Nepal did not accept Chinese assistance under pressure from India and the West. Later, it was purchased from China due to lack of adequate support from nowhere. Nepal initially did not show interest claiming the lack of capacity to store the vaccine when China expressed interest in providing the required vaccine. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Oli was confident that the United States and India would provide the vaccine. Despite several attempts, the US and India failed to provide the vaccine, prompting the president to call for help. As soon as the President made a written request for assistance, China provided assistance. So far, however, the United States and India have not provided vaccine assistance. Nepal initially refused to bring in the Chinese vaccine, citing its inability to store the vaccine. Nepal’s diplomatic failure was evident when the President later requested for vaccine assistance to the same country in writing. In any case, China has once again stood by its side in hard times. China has always treated Nepal and Nepalese as good neighbors and friends. Nepal does not seem to understand China’s good and honest behavior. When will the mind and behavior of our leaders and government improve¿