The Indian embassy has gifted ten advanced ventilators to the Nepali Army to support its efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. The globally raging infection has claimed 75 lives and infected nearly 23,000 people in the Himalayan country.
Vinay Mohan Kwatra, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal, presented the ventilators to Sukeertimaya Rastradeep General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of Army Staff, at the Nepali Army headquarters. In a long-standing convention between the armies of the two countries, the Nepali Army chief is also the Honorary General of Indian Army and the same honor is accorded to the Indian Army chief by Nepal.
A press release by Indian embassy, Kathmandu, said: "These ventilators are designed for a broad range of applications to include advanced invasive or non-invasive respiratory support. They can be used in support of secondary care in hospitals with ICU, tertiary multispecialty hospitals and dedicated ICUs. Further, due to their compact nature, they are portable and handy in transportation of patients requiring intensive care."
The Ambassador reaffirmed India’s commitment of support to the people of Nepal in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.
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India has been supporting Nepal with essential drugs and test kits to battle the pandemic after Prime Minister Narendra Modi <a href="https://indianarrative.com/world/india-shows-regional-statesmanship-over-covid-19-strategy-258.html"><strong>organized a video conference of leaders</strong> </a>from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in March. Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had attended the virtual conference along with the heads of all the South Asian nations barring Pakistan.
Soon after the Saarc video conference, India had supplied 23 tonnes of essential medicines including the much-sought after hydroxychloroquine to Nepal. Oli had thanked Modi on Twitter: "I thank Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji for India’s generous support of 23 tonnes of essential medicines to Nepal, to fight COVID-19 Pandemic. The medicines were handed over to the Minister for Health and Population today by the Ambassador of India.”
Continuing with its efforts to help Nepal and other countries in the region contain the dreaded virus that fanned across the world from its epicentre in Wuhan, China, India provided more medical supplies along with rapid test kits to Nepal in mid-May. Though relations between the two countries were beginning to deteriorate over Lipuleh, Nepal's Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali thanked the Indian government for the medical supplies in a tweet.
Gyawali's tweet said: “Sincere thanks to the Government of India for providing medical logistics and testing kits for 30,000 tests which were handed over to the Ministry of Health and Population today as a part of ongoing cooperation to fight the pandemic."
On these occasions in April and May, the medical supplies were handed over by the Indian embassy to Nepalese authorities. India's efforts to help support the world with essential medicines, rapid test kits and hydroxychloroquine—which was dubbed medical diplomacy—received much praise from governments and friendly countries across the world.
The armies of the two nations maintain close relations. The Indian embassy statement added, "the Indian army has a long record of extending support to the Nepali Army as a first responder for humanitarian assistance and relief. The gifting of ventilators is part of this continued humanitarian cooperation between the two Armies.".