Nepal begins Covid-19 vaccination drive
Nepal started vaccinating health and security workers against Covid-19 on Wednesday, using some of the 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines donated by India on 20 January.
Prime Minister K P Oli launched the drive virtually via video, Sagar Rajbhandari, a physician at the Teku Infectious Diseases Hospital being the first to receive the jab.
The Health Ministry has prepared a list of 430,000 health personnel who will get their first dose this week. Also included will be senior citizens, police and army as well as female community health volunteers all over the country.
The AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India is said to be ideal for Nepali conditions because it does not need an extreme cold chain, and is cheaper.
Nepal plans to buy 4 million of the Covshield vaccines in the second phase of its inoculation drive.
The number of fatalities from Covid-19 in Nepal crossed the 2,000 mark last week, although the number of active cases has dropped to less than 4,000. There are still 200 patients in ICU all over the country, with 120 of them on ventilators.
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