10,000 COVID-19 test kits to Nepal from Singapore

Shekhar Golchha, Pashupati Murarka and Sudhir Mittal of Shree Airlines handing over PCR kits donated by Singapore's Temasek Foundation to Dipendra Taman Singh from the Ministry of Health on Friday after they were flown from Singapore to Kathmandu on special Shree Airlines flights.

Singapore’s Temasek Foundation has provided 10,000 PCR test kits to Nepal for detecting COVID-19 cases which will be deployed to frontline health workers to test patients all across the country.

Called ‘Fortitude Kit 2.0’ the kits are designed by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*START) to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The all-in-one 1-step RT-PCR kits come with all materials required for the reaction, which includes primer probes mix, enzyme mix, the positive control, negative control and internal control template. 

“In these difficult times, Temasek Foundation stands in solidarity with our friends from Nepal,” said Benedict Cheong, CEO of Temasek Foundation International. “We hope these test kits will be helpful to hospitals and medical professionals who are bravely managing the COVID-19 situation in Nepal.”

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The kits were flown from Singapore to Kathmandu on a special Shree Airlines CRJ 700 flight on Friday organised by Shekhar Golchha, Pashupati Murarka and Sudhir Mittal of Shree Airlines, and handed over to the Ministry of Health for distribution to hospitals across Nepal. Vijayendra Baral at Singapore General Hospital, and in Kathmandu Ranjit Acharya and Neil Pande facilitated the process.

Temasek Foundation had also helped Nepal strengthen public schools after the 2015 earthquake and in post-disaster recovery management jointly with SingHealth and Ministry of Health in Nepal. The project built systems and capacity in the area of disaster healthcare training and management for the pre-hospital and in-hospital environments so as to improve preparations for future disasters. 

The project trained 432 specialist medical trainers and hospital leaders, 206 nurses and 38 physiotherapists in hospitals and venues across  Kathmandu, Biratnagar and Nepalganj and culminated in a mass disaster simulation droll in Kosi Zonal Hospital in November 2019. 

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A 30-member team identified by the Ministry Of Health Nepal as potential future master trainers were also travelled to Singapore in April 2019 for a 5-day training in disaster management.

SingHealth has also signed an agreement with TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu to collaborate in Paediatrics and neonatology, liver transplants, orthopedics amongst other subspecialties. Friends of SingHealth also provided pediatric anaesthesia equipment for children having eye surgery at Tilganga Institute of Opthalmology.

SingHealth is the largest healthcare cluster in Singapore with a network of acute hospitals, national speciality centres, community hospitals and polyclinics offering over 40 clinical specialities.