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The Financial Express

Nepal appeals for Covid vaccines as infections rise

| Updated: May 05, 2021 16:32:07


Men wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carry a body of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victim at the crematorium as the country recorded the highest daily increase in deaths since the pandemic began, in Kathmandu, Nepal May 3, 2021 - Reuters photo Men wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carry a body of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victim at the crematorium as the country recorded the highest daily increase in deaths since the pandemic began, in Kathmandu, Nepal May 3, 2021 - Reuters photo

Nepal urgently needs at least 1.6 million AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine doses to administer second shots as the Himalayan country is recording a surge in new coronavirus cases.

"People who have already got the first dose will be in difficulty if they don't receive their second dose within the stipulated time," said Samir Adhikari, a senior official of the Ministry of Health and Population in capital Kathmandu.

On Monday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli urged foreign donors to supply vaccines and critical care medicines to prevent a collapse of the small country's creaky health infrastructure.

Nepal, wedged between China and India, has already vaccinated more than two million people with the AstraZeneca vaccine provided by India and China's Sinopharm, reports Reuters.

But authorities were forced to suspend the vaccination programme last month after the country failed to secure fresh dispatches of vaccine from India and China.

"I would like to request our neighbours, friendly countries and international organisations to help us with vaccines and critical care medicines ...to support ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic,” Oli said in a televised address.

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