Minister of State for Health and Population Umesh Shrestha today said 15.5 per cent of the population had been given first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 so far.

Giving out information on a topic of public importance in the meeting of the House of Representatives today, he said the first dose jabs had been administered to over two million citizens.

State Minister Shrestha expressed commitment to present short and long-term plans to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. He said a programme had been set to administer vaccines to students above 20 years of age for resumption of teaching-learning activities in their physical presence as studies had been stalled for quite long.

The Minister of State informed the House that the government was in the process of procuring more than 30 million doses of vaccines.

Of them, 10 million doses would be supplied to citizens by 17 October. He added that arrangements had been made for providing treatment to non-COVID patients as they seemed reluctant to visit hospitals following the outbreak of the pandemic. Stocks of ventilators and medical oxygen have also been added.

He said preparations were under way to manage and administer vaccines in big cities as well as to students.

He said volunteers would be mobilised for management of the vaccination drive in village and town areas.

Meanwhile, responding to lawmakers' queries regarding the statement of public importance, he made in the House earlier, Shrestha said Covishield vaccines would be administered to citizens soon. He informed that the previous government had already made payment for the vaccines.

He said the home minister had been urged to take action against anyone involved in misuse and irregularities in the procurement of vaccines.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 13 2021, of The Himalayan Times.