Nepal starts coronavirus vaccines with Indian vaccine By Reuters

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5/5 © Reuters. Nepal begins vaccinating frontline medical workers 2/5

By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) – The Himalayan nation of Nepal on Wednesday launched its largest immunization campaign with its first coronavirus vaccines for medical workers, following a one-million-dose gift from neighboring giant India. Wearing a traditional black visor cap and red sleeveless vest, a doctor at a university hospital in the capital Kathmandu became the first recipient of a dose taken from a bed of ice into a cubic blue cooler and injected by staff. masked and in a robe. “We have a new weapon now and I hope we can beat the coronavirus soon,” said Dinesh Kafle, 50, after those waiting his turn applauded him as he sat in a white-walled room in front of a billboard. the bell. Tens of thousands of frontline health workers in Nepal will receive the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccine from India, Acting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said when the campaign began. “We are in talks with India to purchase more vaccines at an appropriate price,” added Oli, who is seeking popular support at a time when he seeks early elections. This month, India said it would give millions of doses of vaccines to its South Asian neighbors, praising them for what could be a setback against China’s activities in the region. Authorities say China, which had promised to help Nepal cope with the pandemic, has not yet obtained authorization for its Sinopharm injections. In recent years, the primarily Hindu nation wedged between China and India has become a playing field for competition for diplomatic and strategic influence between the Asian giants. For years, India has struggled to match the pace of Chinese investment in Nepal and Indian Ocean countries like the Maldives and Sri Lanka, where China is building ports, roads and power plants in its Belt and Road Initiative. But demand for vaccines in these countries, desperate to revive their tourism-dependent economies, has offered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government a way to regain ground, diplomats have said. “We have been able to start our vaccination campaign a week after India started,” said Oli, recently expelled from the ruling Communist Party by opponents for his abrupt December decision to dissolve parliament and seek an early election. With a population of over 30 million, Nepal’s infection count stands at 270,092, with 2,017 deaths. (Interactive graphical tracking of the global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps)

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