Switzerland supports Nepal with essential medical supplies worth USD 8 million to combat the COVID-19 crisis

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Press releases, 22.05.2021

Early today, a special cargo flight carrying the medical supplies landed in Kathmandu, where Swiss Ambassador Elisabeth von Capeller handed them directly over to Honorable Minister Hridayesh Tripathi, Ministry of Health and Population. With this, Switzerland responds to a request from the Government of Nepal for essential medical supplies to combat the ravaging COVID-19 crisis. 

The 30-tonnes shipment contains 40 ventilators, oxygen concentrators, 1.1 million rapid antigen tests and protective equipment (110’000 KN95 masks, 50’000 gloves and 15’000 suits) amounting to a value of USD 8 million.

The ventilators, oxygen concentrators and protective equipment will reinforce the response of various hospitals in Nepal, whereas the antigen tests will allow for better monitoring and controlling of the spread of the virus, e.g. through rapid health screening, community level surveillance and early isolation of patients.

“Switzerland stands in solidarity with Nepal and the Nepali people in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These essential medical supplies will save lives and provide further support to the Government of Nepal to control and contain the pandemic”, said Her Excellency Ms. Elisabeth von Capeller, Swiss Ambassador to Nepal.

The current shipment of essential medical supplies is part of Switzerland’s comprehensive response to COVID-19 in Nepal, which has started in April 2020. So far, this has included the procurement of 70,000 Roche PCR test kits and two PCR instruments, and the instalment of safe healthcare waste management and clean drinking water systems in two hospitals in Province 1. Switzerland has also established a scheme engaging local vendors to support farming households to access critical agricultural inputs, such as seeds. It has adapted its existing projects to ensure continuation of services during the COVID-19 pandemic and supported stranded migrants who lost their jobs in the destination countries with shelter, food, medical assistance, legal counselling and assistance for return. Till date, Switzerland has allocated a total of USD 20 million to the COVID-19 response in Nepal.