Nepal foreign minister dials Jaishankar, raises the issue of vaccine supply delay
Kathmandu/New Delhi/IBNS: Nepal has raised the delay in the supply of Covid-19 vaccine jabs with India, said media reports.
Foreign minister of Nepal Pradeep Gayawali raised the issue of delay in the delivery of a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine made in India over a phone call with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Kathmandu had signed an agreement with Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute of India (SII) for the delivery of 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine manufactured in India.
Half the agreed doses have been delivered which allowed the Himalayan country to administer the first vaccine shots.
However, the delay in delivery of the second million doses has put a halt on the country's inoculation drive with many waiting for over six weeks for a second shot, reported Hindustan Times.
Gayawali requested Jaishankar for the necessary facilitation for the supply of vaccines for Nepal to continue administering the second dose of vaccination for people at high risk, according to the foreign ministry of Nepal, the HT report stated.
He also expressed sincere thanks to the Government of India for supporting Nepal in its fight against the pandemic, including its gift of one million Covishield doses.
Jaishankar has assured Gayawali of continued support to Nepal in its fight against the pandemic, including through the supply of vaccines, the report from Nepal foreign ministry added, reported HT.
According to the report, Nepal has already paid 80 per cent of the cost quoted by SII for the vaccine doses and the remaining amount will be paid when the consignment moves of SII's premises in Pune.
Nepal has already taken up the matter with SII and the external affairs ministry before.
Iran, too, has raised the issue of delay in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.
Iran received its first consignment of 1,25,000 doses of Covaxin .
“Given the cordial relations with #India and understanding the rise of new wave of #coronavirus in both countries, we are doing the necessary talks with Indian authorities to kindly expedite sending rest of the consignment which has already been paid for,” the embassy of Iran said in a tweet.
According to the HT report, after India restricted the export of Covid-19 vaccine shots to cope with a huge surge of the infection on its soil, several countries depending on it for supply are facing difficulties.
However, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said export of the vaccine jabs has not been stopped. He told a media briefing on Thursday, "We have always said supply of made-in-India vaccines abroad would continue, taking into account our domestic requirements.”