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China to supply more COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal: Chinese ambassador

Updated: Jul 13,2021 09:14    Xinhua

KATHMANDU — Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi on July 12 pledged more COVID-19 vaccine shots to Nepal to help vaccinate the South Asian country in its battle against the pandemic.

China will deliver more vaccine doses to Nepal "in the coming days" as Kathmandu is now purchasing 4 million shots of China-made vaccine, Hou said at a press conference held via video link in Kathmandu, the Nepali capital.

"We will continue to provide more and more vaccines to Nepal," Hou added. "Technically I can promise that, because the capability and capacity of the production now are increasing day by day in China."

Due to a short supply of vaccines, Nepal has managed to administer single dose to only 2.61 million of its 30 million nationals as of July 11, while just 1.04 million people have been inoculated twice, according to the country's Ministry of Health and Population.

Nepal is now gripped by a second wave of the coronavirus, with its health system overwhelmed by a swelling number of new cases in May in particular.

The Chinese ambassador noted that China has actively carried out international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and is committed to ensuring accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.

China and some South Asian countries have lately launched a poverty alleviation and cooperative development center and a center for stockpile of emergency supplies in the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Chengdu respectively.

Hou said the platforms shall contribute to South Asian countries' effort in poverty alleviation and help deliver emergency supplies in the face of a pandemic and other crises "in a very quick and efficient way."

She stressed that the need to protect China's Tibet autonomous region from the coronavirus is behind the delayed reopening of the transit points with Nepal. She expressed optimism that the concerned authorities of the two countries will resolve the issue as quickly as possible.