KATHMANDU: The Nepali government has sent requests to several countries that are producing COVID-19 vaccines seeking their early availability after they are proven to be effective, officials said here on Sunday.
The requests were made after the Nepali government introduced an ordinance last week, paving the way for bringing the vaccines for emergency use, reports Xinhua news agency.
"We have sent requests to the countries including China, India, the US, the UK, Russia and Australia for early availability of vaccines," Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population told Xinhua.
"The letters were sent through our foreign ministry. It has been three days that we sent the requests," Gautam said. Sewa Lamsal, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Xinhua that such requests were made to a number of countries.
By introducing an ordinance, the Nepali government has authorized the Department of Drug Administration, the regular of the pharmaceutical sector, to register the vaccines of infectious diseases that have been declared as an epidemic or pandemic.
The department has also been authorized to make necessary recommendations to provide import licenses to the firms or institutions to import vaccines as per the ordinance.
The Nepali government has also formed a high-level committee represented by secretaries of finance, home and foreign affairs ministries to facilitate the early import of the vaccines. Nepal has so far reported a total of 218,639 coronavirus cases with 1,305 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Population. (IANS)