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Nepal gets more China-donated oxygen cylinders amid oxygen crisis over COVID-19

Updated: May 16,2021 20:28    Xinhua

KATHMANDU — Nepal received a second shipment of China-donated oxygen cylinders on May 16 as the Himalayan country is facing a short supply of medical oxygen for a growing number of COVID-19 patients.

A Nepal Airlines plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 2:30 pm local time with oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators from China, Dim Prasad Poudel, managing director of the airline, told Xinhua.

On May 11, Nepal received the first batch of oxygen cylinders from China.

According to Nepal's Ministry of Finance, there is an agreement with China for the delivery of oxygen cylinders on a grant basis, and some of them will be brought by air while the rest will be sent through the land route with Tibet of China.

Poudel said the Nepal Airlines will send planes to get back the remaining oxygen cylinders from China.

"We are trying to communicate with the Chinese side to know when the cylinders would arrive at the border point," said Narad Gautam, chief customs officer at the bordering Tatopani Customs Office in the Sindhupalchowk district of Nepal.

Nepali officials said cylinders donated by China would be helpful to ease the situation amid an acute oxygen crisis.

Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at the Nepali Health Ministry, told Xinhua last week that China-donated oxygen cylinders would be distributed to large government-run hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley, and a few would be sent to the crisis-hit provinces in southwestern and far-western Nepal.

A deadly new wave of the coronavirus has forced the Kathmandu Valley authorities to extend the restrictive measures in place for two more weeks till May 27.

On May 16, Nepal recorded 7,316 new infections through the polymerase chain reaction test while 52 were tested positive for coronavirus through the antigen test. Meanwhile, the country logged a total of 145 deaths in the past 24 hours.

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