KATHMANDU-- The emergency epidemic prevention materials donated by the Chinese side arrived here on Sunday to help Nepal fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The supplies that arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepali capital city Kathmandu in the wee hours of Sunday were formally handed over to the Nepali Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal by the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi.
Dhakal welcomed the Chinese support and expressed gratitude to the northern neighbor for helping the Himalayan country overcome the epidemic.
"I would like to thank the Chinese people and the Chinese government for supporting Nepal in this difficult time to fight the COVID-19," the minister said during the handover ceremony.
At a time when many countries are fighting against this battle, China keeping Nepal in the priority list and sending supplies immediately is really commendable, the minister expressed, adding that Nepal expects China's support in the coming days as well.
The donations from China's Sichuan Province and the Chinese Embassy include different kinds of masks, thermometers, Chloroquine phosphate tablets, protective clothing and portable ventilators weighing 1.1 tons.
Similarly, the donation from Alibaba Foundation, Jack Ma Foundation includes 100,200 N95 masks and 20,064 PCR test kits weighing 1.4 tons.
"We will try our best to send other necessary supplies as soon as possible. In case of any emergency, we can send a medical expert team or arrange a video conference meeting as well to help the health workers here," the Chinese ambassador said.
She also welcomed the national lockdown enforced by the Nepal government, stating that it has received encouraging support from the general public.
Nepal is reportedly in dire need for medical supplies as the entire situation escalates in the country. Nepal, facing the shortage of test kits and personal protective equipment for health workers, has recorded five confirmed cases of the COVID-19 so far.
But there is a growing concern over a possible spike in the cases due to the relatively low number of tests. Nepal has enforced a week-long nationwide lockdown since March 24 to prevent the spread of infection.
The health ministry said that the received support materials will be distributed to federal and provincial levels hospitals immediately and will be useful for the prevention and management of the COVID-19 in Nepal.
Mahendra Shrestha, director general at the Department of Health Services under the Health Ministry, told Xinhua on Saturday, "The procured test kits from China will help us in the situation of spike in positive cases of the COVID-19."