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PM Directs Health Ministry To Import Enough Vaccines

Staff Reporter Jan 18, 2022

Kathmandu, Jan. 18: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has directed the Ministry of Health and Population to immediately import enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate all Nepali citizens.
Addressing the ninth meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) at his official residence in Baluwatar on Monday, Prime Minister Deuba expressed worry about the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus and its ability to infect already vaccinated individuals. “The Health Ministry should promptly look where vaccines against this virus are available and how we can procure them. There should be no delay in this,” he said.

Noting Nepal’s response to the previous waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Prime Minister added, “The World Health Organisation had also praised Nepal’s actions in the fight against the coronavirus. But this new variant has begun plaguing the country. We all must be vigilant and work to defeat it.”
Prime Minister Deuba also emphasised the need for everyone to be aware and follow the government’s health protocol to protect themselves from the virus. “It is important to explain to everyone that they can keep the coronavirus at bay if they take precautions like social distancing.”

Prime Minister Deuba asked the media to generate awareness among the people. “The government has the jabs but there is no one at the vaccination centres,” he said, adding, “The media can play a huge role in raising awareness. I urge all media outlets to work towards this.”

Urging the provincial and local governments to coordinate and collaborate with the federal government to save the citizens from the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Deuba stressed on the need for all three levels of government to work together to defeat the pandemic.

Speaking at the meeting, deputy leader of the parliamentary party of the main opposition CPN (UML) Subas Nembang said that his party is with the government in the fight against COVID-19.
He said that UML would support every effort made by the government to beat the disease in the country.
The Chief Ministers who participated in the meeting informed the Prime Minister about the challenges they faced in bringing the pandemic under control in their respective provinces.

Chief Minister of Sudurpashchim Province Trilochan Bhatta said that the open border in India had led to a spike in cases in the far-western province. He also shared the difficulties his provincial government was facing in housing the infected people coming from India. “The holding centre being built by the Nepali Army is still incomplete. This has made it difficult for us to manage infected people at the border,” he informed.

He also asked the federal government to address the manpower and vaccine shortages the provinces have been facing. 

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