National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has held a discussion with the officials of Ministry of Health and Population regarding its efforts to prevent and control the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The discussion held on Monday featured issues including citizens' access to the vaccine against COVID-19, prevention and control initiatives and challenges.

On the occasion, NHRC Chairperson Tapa Bahadur Magar directed the government to ensure availability of second dose of vaccine to those who had already taken the first dose and prioritize vaccination to the frontline workers.

It must be ensured that all citizens have access to vaccination, he stressed.

Director General at Department of Health Service, Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, informed that as the second wave of COVID-19 spread across the globe, it has posed a serious health crisis. Due to the lack of adequate vaccine in Nepal, the risk is even higher, added Singh. However, he expressed hope that the vaccine would be available after a week because diplomatic efforts for its import are underway.

Joint Spokesperson at Health Ministry Dr Samir Adhikari said that as per the available statistics so far, Province 1, 2 and Bagmati Province are still at high risk of Covid-19.

Those that have been placed in higher priority of receiving vaccination are health workers, sanitation workers, ambulance driver, employees at service providing institutions, senior citizens, and those in orphanage and inmates.

Furthermore, at the meeting, Chief of Family Welfare Division, Dr Taranath Pokhrel, informed that black marketing of health-related materials have been reported and investigation into this situation is underway. An action plan for the distribution of vaccine was made based on WHO standard, he asserted.