MUSTANG, JULY 22

Supplying vaccines has been a big problem in the trans-Himalayan district, Mustang. With regular vehicular movement coming to a halt owing to the disaster-induced road blockage, tractors are being used to transport the anti-COVID vaccines.

On July 13, Lomanthang Rural Municipality of the district made the arrangement of supplying vaccines in a tractor and administered the second dose to its senior citizens.

The swollen Panda rivulet troubled the transportation of vaccines from the district headquarters Jomsom. The rural municipality's Chief Administrative Officer Nawaraj Bhandari said that a tractor was alternatively used to transport the vaccines after an ambulance carrying vaccines could not cross the Manda rivulet near Kagbeni.

"The ambulance could not cross the swollen rivulet", Bhandari said, adding that the transportation of vaccine was held up for two days before a tractor was used to safely cross the roaring rivulet.

Health Coordinator of Lomanthang Rural Municipality, Tenzing Norbu Gurung himself took the vaccines to the local level in a tractor.

"There are no other troubles in upper Mustang. But, rivulets flowing through Kagbeni are creating problems in transportation," Bhandari added. He further said, "We adopted various alternative arrangements to transport the vaccines to the rural municipality".

Earlier, health workers had taken the vaccines across the flood-fed rivulet in Mustang with the help of logs. A media report revealing the problems of Mustang in transporting vaccines had gone viral on social media. Pokhara-based Health Directorate had made public a content revealing the supply of vaccines by health workers of Mustang on a tractor on social media.

At a time when the vaccination campaign is gaining ground across the country, the trans-Himalayan district has witnessed a tale of frustrating transportation.

Transportation woes has delayed the inoculation campaign at a time when coronavirus has already taken its toll of human lives in the district.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.