Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung has said 'people's safety' was the first and foremost priority of the provincial government as the country was battling the second wave of COVID-19.

Speaking at a programme organised by Pokhara Tourism Council to hand over crucial health supplies to the provincial government here today, the chief minister asserted that 'Vaccines for the public' was the top priority for saving people from the deadly virus.

Stating that President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had made positive efforts to obtain the vaccines and the budget for the upcoming fiscal year had accorded top priority to the health sector, he reaffirmed his government's commitment to providing vaccines to everyone in the province.

According to him, the province is self-sufficient in medical oxygen, and has expedited the construction of required health infrastructure to deal with COV- ID-19 cases.

The authorities concerned have been directed to address issues of shortage of resources and workforce.

Pokhara Academy of Health Sciences, Western Regional Hospital, has been developed into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital, according to the chief minister. He said medical supplies provided by the council in assistance would be helpful in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Pokhara metropolis Mayor Man Bahadur GC was also present on the occasion.

The CM provided the received assistance materials to Infectious and Communicable Disease Hospital, Western Regional Hospital and Matrisishu Miteri Hospital.

Council Chair Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai said assistance materials worth Rs 1.5 million were purchased from China to assist the province government in its humanitarian actions.

The assistance includes oxygen concentrators, PPEs, gloves, surgical masks and so on.

The council received the support from Pokhara-based tourism entrepreneurs and Nepalese Association of Georgia in the US to manage funds for buying health supplies.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 31, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.