Tag Archives: Nepal

COVID19: EU aid to Nepal

Brussels 21.05.2021 An aircraft from Spain carrying urgently needed oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators and rapid antigen tests arrived in Nepal today, following the country’s request for support for EU assistance to help contain its rapid surge in COVID-19 infections.

The shipment, the first of several to follow from EU Member States in the coming days, is facilitated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, coordinated by the European Commission.

The offers of support from EU Member States currently include:

Finland: 2.2 million surgical face masks, 350,000 FFP2 masks, 52,500 pairs of vinyl gloves, 30,000 isolation gowns.
France: 14 ventilators, spare parts for oxygen plants, 20.000 antigen tests, 500.000 KN95 masks.
Germany: 62 ventilators, 27,500 FFP2 masks, 30,000 surgical masks, 200 body bags, 5 isolation centre tents, , 400 gum boots
Spain: 50 oxygen cylinders, 10 oxygen concentrators, 15 ventilators, 124,800 rapid antigen tests, 144,000 FFP2 masks.
Belgium: 1 million surgical masks, 2,000 nasal oxygen cannulas.
In addition, the flight delivering Spanish assistance that landed in Kathmandu today will depart on Friday 21 May, repatriating Spanish and other EU citizens upon return.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “The COVID-19 surge in Nepal is claiming more lives every minute as it spreads across the country. We stand in full solidarity with Nepal in its fight against the pandemic. I am very thankful to Finland, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium for their quick and generous offers of assistance via our Civil Protection Mechanism, showing that the EU is a trusted partner and friend in times of need. We are also quickly mobilising emergency support with an initial €2 million. We stand ready to provide further assistance.”

The initial €2 million will support the monitoring of all home isolated cases through tele-health/tele-medicine services and rapid referral to hospitals, as well as national emergency medical teams deployment and the mobilisation of international emergency medical teams. The funding will also procure key COVID-19 equipment and supplies in Nepal, including oxygen equipment (including oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators), personal protection equipment, home care kits and diagnostics equipment.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism strengthens cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism.

Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond and contributes to at least 75% of the transport and/or operational costs of deployments. Following a request for assistance through the Mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre mobilises assistance or expertise.

The Centre monitors events around the globe 24/7 and ensures rapid deployment of emergency support through a direct link with national civil protection authorities. In 2020, the Mechanism was activated more than 90 times. For example, to respond to the coronavirus pandemic; the explosion in Beirut in Lebanon; floods in Ukraine, Niger and Sudan; the earthquake in Croatia; and tropical cyclones in Latin America and Asia.

COVID19 reaches Himalaya

Nepal government has closed its borders with India and China for a week starting March 23, in a bid to prevent a possible outbreak of the coronavirus among the Himalayan nation.

Although the cross-border human movement is halted till midnight of March 29, supply of goods from the countries will continue as usual, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada told a press conference on March 22 Sunday night.

Nepal, which shares an 1,800-km open border with India, has total 37 motorable land entry points with it, while with China it has four such entry points. Although the cross-border human movement is halted till midnight of March 29, supply of goods from the countries will continue as usual, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada told a press conference on Sunday night.

Everest closed for climbers

The “roof of the world” Mount Everest has been banned for climbers for the rest of the expedition season because of the coronavirus outbreak, announced Nepal government after the meeting on the issue of COVID19 precaution measures.

The expeditions who already received the climbing permits from 14 March until 30 April are facing abrupt cancellation. The measure did not come as a surprise, because
China had already cancelled expeditions from the northern, Chinese-controlled, side of the mountain.

“We have decided to halt all tourist visas until 30 April,” said Narayan Prasad Bidari, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“As of now, all issued permits and permits yet to be issued for the 2020 Everest season will be cancelled.”
The officials also advised foreigners who were unable to avoid coming to Nepal from 14 March to stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Most climbers come from the US, India, China, Russia, UK, Japan, and South Korea – and are a major source of revenue for the Nepalese government, purchasing trips for an average amount from $30 000 to $70 000 per person, dependent on additional services provided by local companies.

According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepal earns $4m (£3.1m) only by issuing Everest climbing permits every year, aside from wider tourism revenue.