China, which reportedly sells Nepal vaccines against coronavirus (Covid-19) at a price of $ 10 a dose, conveyed its dissatisfaction with Kathmandu after several regional media outlets revealed the procurement price, the ANI news agency reported. Sunday morning. Earlier, it was reported that Nepal had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Chinas Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine makers in order to gain access to doses amid questions about the legality of such an undertaking.
Read also | Nepal signs non-disclosure agreement on Sinopharm strikes: Report
Although a non-disclosure deal was reportedly in place, an article published by The Kathmandu Post revealed the price of the Sinopharm vaccine dose that China was selling to Nepal to help the Himalayan nation tackle the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report mentioned that Nepal was buying four million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine at an estimated cost of $ 10 or about 741 per dose. Although the report acknowledged that the final price is yet to be confirmed given the nature of the deal, it could be around $ 10 per dose.
After the article was published, numerous Chinese officials clearly communicated their dissatisfaction with Nepal, ANI reported. Sinopharm had communicated its dissatisfaction with the publication of vaccine procurement by the Nepalese government, officials told the Kathmandu Post. The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu also reminded Nepal’s foreign ministry of the nature of the deal, according to officials.
Nepali officials also expressed concern over the media report. “The way the media quoted the price of the vaccine and other logistical issues was worrying because these are very sensitive issues,” Dr Krishna Prasad Paudel, a spokeswoman for the health ministry, was quoted as saying.
The Kathmandu Post backed up its report, citing confirmation from two ministers and two government secretaries who were present at the cabinet meeting where the decision was made to buy four million vaccines from China.
Development comes as a difficult obstacle in diplomatic relations between countries. Nepal has desperately sought alternative sources of vaccines as India temporarily halted exports of strokes in late March to withstand a devastating second wave. Just after China agreed to sell its Sinopharm vaccines, Kathmandu saw a way to vaccinate millions of people who received the first dose of Covishield and were waiting for their second dose after more than two months. However, China’s condition was that the establishment of a non-disclosure agreement, an unusual problem for Nepal as the country’s laws do not have a provision for non-disclosure agreements in public procurement, according to reports.
(With contributions from agencies)
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