Nepali Prime Minister KB Sharma Olymp on Thursday called on the international community to supply Nepal with nearly 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to fight a new wave of infections that has put pressure on hospitals in this impoverished country.
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“We appeal to the international community to make vaccines available … We are ready to buy them if donations cannot be made,” the prime minister told reporters.
This country of 30 million people has so far received just over three million doses from various sources.
It is difficult to receive small amounts (of vaccines) because double doses are required. So we hope that the vaccines will reach us in large quantities. We need to vaccinate about 20 million people, so we need 40 million doses, ”the Prime Minister emphasized.
Nepal experienced an increase in pollution in early April which peaked in mid-May with more than 9,000 cases per day.
The number of infections is slowly declining, but the health system remains under pressure. “We are not in a position to say that (pollution) is deteriorating,” said Mr. Oli.
Nepal started a vaccination campaign in January with one million doses of AstraZeneca supplied by India.
But India, which faced a violent outbreak of the epidemic, banned the export of vaccines because it itself was in shortage, a situation that severely affected other countries in the region.
China gave Nepal 800,000 doses of Sinopharm while 348,000 doses of AstraZeneca were delivered to the country as part of the Covax program to aid poor countries. According to media reports, 13 million doses are expected to be sent to Nepal through the Covax system. Beijing promised another million doses.