Sun, 13 Jun 2021

Nepal receives China-donated oxygen cylinders

11 May 2021, 23:05 GMT+10

KATHMANDU, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The first shipment of China-donated oxygen cylinders and ventilators arrived in Nepal on Tuesday, which Nepali officials say are helpful in reducing the shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the country.

A Nepal Airlines plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 16:00 local time with oxygen cylinders, ventilators and oxygen concentrators from Beijing, said Dim Prasad Poudel, managing director of the airline.

According to Nepal's Finance Ministry which has been coordinating with the Chinese side for the assistance, there is an agreement with China for the delivery.

D.B. Chhetri, under secretary at the ministry, told Xinhua that the Chinese side would deliver the remaining oxygen cylinders in the next few weeks.

Citing the lack of oxygen, several hospitals have announced in recent days that they would not admit new patients.

"The cylinders arrived from China will not be sufficient but helpful to ease the oxygen crisis to some extent," Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population, told Xinhua.

He said most of the China-donated cylinders would be distributed to large government-run hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley and a few would be sent to the crisis-hit provinces in southwestern and far-western Nepal respectively.

On Monday, Nepal recorded a record high of 9,127 new infections, taking the total cases to 403,794 in the country, while 139 deaths were reported the same day, the highest death toll ever seen in the country.

Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli again called for international support to Nepal on Monday, referring to vaccines, diagnostic tools, oxygen kits, critical care medicines and equipment in particular.

At a recent video conference of the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on COVID-19, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China would provide Nepal with a new batch of anti-epidemic supplies.

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