Nepal is top priority for India for supply of Covid-19 vaccine: Shringla

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 27, 2020

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla handing over 2,000 vials of Remdesivir to Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

India has assured Nepal that once a Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out in the country, meeting its neighbours requirements will be a top priority.

India is on the cusp of availability of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla at a lecture organised by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) in Kathmandu on Friday.

“Given our genetic profiles, what works for India is likely to work for Nepal as well. Together we will recover from the pandemic and together we will protect our people,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary is on an official two-day visit to Nepal. He called on Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday, and also held talks with the Foreign Secretary of Nepal.

“We were only too glad to extend assistance to Nepal in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, be it in equipment and supplies, or ensuring uninterrupted flow of goods across the border....Yesterday, I had the privilege of handing over 2000 vials of Remdesivir injections to the Foreign Minister. I would like to emphasise our continued and uninterrupted commitment to Nepal,” he said.

Enhancing cross-border connectivity

Shringla said that enhancing cross-border connectivity between the two countries and infrastructure projects are also critical as they unlock potential of millions and in millions.

“Connectivity projects come in various forms. Physical connectivity projects such as highways, rail and air links and inland waterways enhance movement of goods and people. Energy connectivity – whether power transmission lines or petroleum pipelines – contribute to the well-being of each other’s citizens, and build mutual trust and partnerships. Digital connectivity through optical fibre networks is our route to the future, particularly, and as we find in India, with remote access to education, healthcare and other services through the digital medium,” he said.

Trade facilitation through upgraded border infrastructure makes for easier transit and seamless commerce.

A number of initiatives had been taken to enhance cross-border connectivity between India and Nepal, he added.

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Published on November 27, 2020
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