Kathmandu, Oct 19 : China on Tuesday announced that it is providing an additional grant of two million Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal.
During a telephone conversation with his Nepali counterpart Dr Narayan Khadka on Tuesday, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement to provide the Vero Cell vaccines manufactured in China.
China, so far, is the largest provider of vaccines to Nepal – both as grants and commercial deals.
As of now, Nepal has administered 8.3 million China-made Vero Cell Covid vaccines manufactured by Sinopharm. Out of this, half were gifted by the Chinese government.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang and Khadka held an hour-long telephone conversation on Tuesday morning, where they discussed the entire gamut of the bilateral relations including Covid-19 vaccine cooperation, trade and commerce, development cooperation, and border management.
According to Nepal’s Health Ministry, at least 28.2 per cent of the total population of 30.3 million have received their first doses of Covid vaccines while 21.4 per cent have received both doses.
The two ministers also talked about progress of different development projects, return of Nepali students to China for continuation of their studies, increasing the number of containers of fertilisers and other goods and their shipment through Tatopani/Zhangmu and Rasuwagadhi/Kerung border ports and resumption of regular air services between Nepal and China.
The two border points between Nepal and China – Tatopani and Rawuwagadhi – were closed since Covid pandemic began. On Nepal’s request, China has agreed to allow some movement of goods but very minimal.
Wang and Khadka agreed to work closely on issues of common interest and to further promote friendly and long-standing bilateral relations and cooperation.
Khadka reiterated Nepal’s ‘One China’ policy and appreciated China’s continuous support for Nepal’s economic development.
Wang also extended an invitation to him to visit China at a mutually convenient date.(IANS)