India gifts 2,000 vials of Remdesivir, COVID related assistance to Nepal

Kathmandu: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday gifted 2,000 vials of Remdesivir injections as part of ongoing support to Nepal, while also providing COVID-related assistance, including essential medicines, ventilators, test kits and PPE materials.

As Nepal’s close friend, we have been happy to provide COVID related assistance to Nepal. This includes essential medicines, ventilators, test kits and PPE material. We have also assisted Nepalese citizens to return home from other countries. Our gift today of 2000 vials of Remdesivir injection is part of our ongoing support to Nepal,” said Shringla while speaking to Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.

In his remarks after handing over the Remdesivir injections, Shringla stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the maximum global disruption since World War II, which has demonstrated the need for closer international cooperation.

He also applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lead in promoting regional cooperation in response to COVID-19.

The Foreign Secretary also expressed to Nepal FM Gyawali that India will continue to extend assistance to the neighbouring country as per its requirement.

“Once the vaccine is ready, Nepal’s requirement would be a priority for us. As we try to overcome the devastating impacts of Covid-19, India and Nepal need to work even more closely to improve the lives of the people of our countries”

said Shringla.

Shringla arrived in Nepal on Thursday for his maiden visit and was received by his Nepal counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal.

Upon his arrival, Shringla said India and Nepal have “very strong” ties and their endeavour would be to take the relationship between the two nations forward.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Shringla’s visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries and the priority India attaches to its relations with Nepal.

“India has historical and civilisation linkages with Nepal. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has strengthened, with several major infrastructures and cross-border connectivity projects completed with India’s assistance. The visit will be an opportunity to further advance our bilateral ties,” the ministry said.

Sources informed that the Foreign Secretary will meet other dignitaries, and will do a public address, followed by a visit to the site of a development project.

Essentially, this is an initial courtesy and a “getting-to-know-you” visit, which got delayed due to COVID-19, sources said.

Shringla visit will help underline the warmth of the relationship, the sources said, adding that it will also help enhance the level of our engagement, and allow a comprehensive review of our ties after a gap of some time. “We are keen to take forward this momentum, and make progress on the diverse sectors that encompass our bilateral relations,” they asserted.

Shringla’s visit came months at a time the ties between the two countries are under strain after Nepal released a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

Earlier this month, Indian Army chief Gen. M M Naravane travelled to Nepal on a three-day visit during which he held talks with Nepal’s top leadership and discussed bilateral relations.

Gen Naravane’s three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries.