By Ashok Ghimire
The Nepal Army said the process for procurement of medical supplies required for fighting against COVID-19 pandemic has completed.
In a news conference organized at the Army Headquarters here on Tuesday, the Army Spokesman Bigyan Dev Pandey, said the Army is at the stage of purchasing 342 tonnes of medical goods from China through the Government-to-Government process.
He added that a purchase agreement has already been reached with the Chinese side and the amount has also been paid in that connection. The amount was paid to the Chinese party on Monday itself for the purchase of 67 kinds of medical goods.
The Army spokesman said 18 million 441 thousand 706.35 US Dollars has been paid and the Chinese side has also confirmed of the receipt of the amount. An agreement has been reached with China Sinofirm International Corporation, a government-owned company, for purchasing the medical goods.
As per the agreement, the Chinese side will have to deposit the consignment in Guangzhou within a week from the date of payment.
Pandey said information has been received from the Chinese party that it would deposit the medical goods in Guangzhou within a week’s time. He added that it will take around seven days to transport the medical supplies from there up to Tatopani transit point. It will take two more days for customs clearance.
According to him, discussions are also being held with the airlines companies on the possibilities of bringing the most essential consignment by air. “We are in discussions with Nepal Airlines Corporation and Shree Airlines. We will reach a conclusion on this matter once the medical goods are deposited in Guangzhou by the supplier company,” Pandey said, adding that consultations were also on for transporting goods other than the emergency ones by road.
He said they are in talks with the Chinese transportation companies through the Nepali Embassy in Beijing and the Consulate General in Guangzhou in that regard.
Discussions with India on
The Army spokesman further said discussions were ongoing regarding purchasing medicines for the COVID-19 patients from India.
The government has made preparations for bringing 53 types of medicines from India. “We have sent a list of the medicines that we require. Discussions are ongoing with the Indian side regarding the process of payment after the procurement of the medicines. We have not received any information from the Indian side so far. This matter will also be finalized in some days,” he said.