Health gear from China unlikely to arrive before April first week

Kathmandu, March 26

Medical equipment to be imported by the private sector from China is likely to arrive in Nepal only after the first week of April.

According to sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, preparations are under way to bring medical equipment purchased by the private sector from Chinese manufacturers using a Nepal Airlines aircraft. “We are working on a tentative date of April first week. However, that date is not fixed,” said a MoFA official. “It is not possible before April first week.”Arrangements are being made to airlift the equipment from either Guangzhou or Chengdu.

A high-level coordination committee for prevention and control of the novel coronavirus had on Tuesday decided to assign the private sector to import medicines and medical equipment amid a shortage in the market.

Considering that government-sector procurement process is time consuming, the government decided to collaborate with the private sector to procure those equipment if they could do it faster and in transparent manner. The government had also decided that it would ensure both air and surface transportation. As for 2,000 sets of COVID-19 testing kits that a Chinese private firm gifted to Nepal yesterday, the consignment would reach Lhasa by tomorrow, and would arrive in Nepal through land route via Rasuwagadi-Kerung border point. The official said the gifted testing kits would reach Nepal before the private sector-imported medical equipment. Dispatch date for aid materials that China has pledged to Nepal has also yet to be fixed. The materials include testing kits and medical equipment. “The Chinese government has confirmed providing those aid materials,” said the MoFA official.