Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on phone with his Nepali counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday to convey congratulations and best wishes for the latter’s appointment as the Prime Minister of Nepal and for winning the confidence vote in Parliament.
As per a press statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Modi recalled the unique and millenia-old people-to-people linkages that underpin the special friendship between India and Nepal, while the two leaders agreed to work together to enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas.
“They discussed, in particular, ways to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the context of ongoing effort against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read.
Following the telephone conversation, Prime Minster Deuba tweeted that Modi had assured Nepal of early supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Deuba wrote, “I had cordial telephone conversation with Prime Minister @narendramodi this afternoon. We shared views on further strengthening bilateral ties. PM Modi assured early supply of Covid Vaccines to Nepal. I thanked him for his warm words of congratulations.”
Nepal has yet to receive one million doses of Covishield purchased from India more than three months ago.
Meanwhile, a cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Singha Durbar on Monday appealed international vaccine manufacturing countries to provide more anti-COVID vaccines either on grant or for procurement.
Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, government’s Spokesperson as well as Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki informed that the cabinet meeting had also decided to thank all the countries that provided vaccines and various medical essentials to Nepal.
Fewer than 4% of Nepal’s nearly 30 million population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
More than 1.3 million people, who have had a first dose of a vaccine, are awaiting a second as the government scrambles to procure shots.
Infections began rising again in April and May although have stabilized to around 1,600 a day in the past weeks.
Nepal has been inoculating its population with India-made Covishield, China-made Vero Cell and US-made J&J vaccines.