Nepal gets more China-donated oxygen cylinders


Nepal received a second shipment of China-donated oxygen cylinders as the Himalayan country is continuing to face an acute shortage of medical oxygen supply for a growing number of Covid-19 patients.

A Nepal Airlines plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday with the oxygen cylinders and concentrators from China, Dim Prasad Poudel, managing director of the airline, told Xinhua news agency.

The first batch had arrived on May 10.

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Finance, there is an agreement with China for the delivery of oxygen cylinders on a grant basis, and some of them will be brought by air while the rest will be sent through the land route with Tibet.

Poudel said the Nepal Airlines will send planes to get back the remaining oxygen cylinders from China.

“We are trying to communicate with the Chinese side to know when the cylinders would arrive at the border point,” said Narad Gautam from the bordering Tatopani Customs Office in the Sindhupalchowk district.

Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson at the Nepali Health Ministry, told Xinhua last week that China-donated oxygen cylinders would be distributed to large government-run hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley, and a few would be sent to the crisis-hit provinces.

A deadly new wave of the coronavirus has forced the Kathmandu Valley authorities to extend the restrictive measures in place for two more weeks till May 27.

On Sunday, Nepal recorded 7,316 new infections through the polymerase chain reaction test while 52 were tested positive for coronavirus through the antigen test.

Meanwhile, the country logged a total of 145 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Nepal’s overall Covid caseload and death toll stood at 455,020 and 5,001.