Indian traders and businessmen doing business in China are now queuing up in hospitals in Kathmandu to get the Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, according to officials.
The officials said that there was an acute surge of Indian businessmen and traders in Kathmandu hospitals this week.
We started probing this issue after we noticed that Indian businessmen are getting jabs, two senior Nepal government officials told IANS.
After the probe, we came to know that Indian businessmen flying to Kathmandu to receive the jab and going back after the immunisation, they added.
Some Indian traders had shown their identity cards written in Chinese and they spoke in Hindi, the officials said, adding that it was later found they were flying from India only to receive the jab.
Over 30 Indian traders who are doing business in China got the Covid jab on Wednesday, while a huge number are still looking for the jab, a senior official at the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku told IANS.
Since Beijing has made Covid vaccination mandatory to enter the country, Indian traders and businessmen are submitting the identity of doing business in China, the official said.
But only later we came to know that they were Indians, the official added.
On March 16, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu issued a notice and informed that anyone visiting Beijing should have to submit a certificate of Covid-19 vaccination manufactured in China while applying for the visa.
Nepal has recently received 800,000 doses of Chinese vaccine called “Vero Cell” developed by Sinopharm as a grant and started inoculating its selected population.
On Thursday, a similar line of Indian businessmen are queuing up in Kathmandu-based government hospitals to get the jabs, the officials confirmed.
After the incident came into the light, authorities will now shut down the facility to the Indian businessmen and asked anyone seeking jab should provide a Nepali citizenship.
After receiving the Chinese vaccine, the Nepal government has started inoculating those involved in essential services; students studying in China under the Chinese government scholarship but are currently stuck in Nepal due to pandemic; Nepali students preparing to leave for China for the higher study; and people involved in cross-border trade between Nepal and China.
As of Wednesday, 54 000 individuals have received the Chinese jabs.
Amid the worsening Covid situation in India, Nepal is in also a spot.
Covid cases are rising in Nepal particularly people coming from India using the open border.