NAC flight to bring medical kits from China

Kathmandu, April 2

A chartered Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) flight — Airbus (A330-200) — which had flown to Guangzhou, China to bring medical kits earlier today will returned home early Friday.

As per NAC, the aircraft is scheduled to landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 2:57am on Friday with more than 20 tonnes of medical equipment to cope with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

A group of private sector businesses, including Chaudhary Foundation and Norvic Hospital, had chartered the flight to bring necessary medical equipment from China after the government allowed the private sector to bring in medical kits to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Nepal.

The aircraft had departed from TIA at 11:30am today and landed in Guangzhou at 2:50pm (Nepal time), as per NAC.

Archana Khadka, spokesperson for Nepal Airlines Corporation, informed that the chartered flight was allowed after the concerned party had fulfilled all legal and bilateral compliances.

Earlier on March 30, the government had imported medical kits from China through a chartered flight of Nepal Airlines through Omni Group, the company which was awarded the contract to supply necessary medical kits to the government.

The company had brought around 50,000 coronavirus testing kits, 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), and 100,000 pairs of gloves, 80,000 units of masks and 1,500 infrared thermometers via chartered flight of Nepal Airlines.

However, the government on Wednesday terminated the contract with Omni Group citing that the company had failed to supply necessary medical kits on time. As per the Department of Health Services, the contract was terminated with the firm as it could supply only 10 per cent of necessary medical kits to the government.

Moreover, questions were also raised on the quality of the medical kits supplied by the firm.

Meanwhile, the government has already started a new tender process to procure the necessary medical kits to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Nepal.

READ ALSO: Govt scraps contract with Omni Group

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 03, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.