KATHMANDU, MAY 12: Given the exponential increase in the new cases of Covid-19 and the ever increasing death toll each day a number of civil society members have appealed to the Chinese government for its assistance as an urgent response to Nepal’s grave health condition and possible humanitarian situation.
Reports show that Covid-19 cases in Nepal have increased by 1200 percent in the last few weeks and the positivity rate of tests conducted stands consistently over fifty percent.
The country’s health infrastructure has been pushed to the brink with health professionals and frontline workers stretched thin across the country.
The civil society members have said Nepal is witnessing the fastest spread of COVID-19 globally and the coming months are certain to be an uphill battle. In this context, it is becoming increasingly clear that Nepal will require the help of our neighbors to mitigate the unfolding humanitarian disaster.
“It is during these unprecedented times, on behalf of the citizens of Nepal, we would like to appeal – once again — to the government and people of the People’s Republic of China to extend your whole-hearted assistance to urgently respond to Nepal’s grave health and humanitarian situation,” states the appeal issued by 83 civil society members on Thursday. “We would like to appeal to the Chinese government to support Nepal with additional vaccines so as to curb unnecessary loss of human life as a result of lack of access to vaccines.”
It has been well established that vaccination is the only solution to this pandemic besides following health protocols. With only 1 percent of the population fully vaccinated, Nepal is in a precarious position.
The government has scheduled the second dose inoculation for those who received the first dose of the VeroCell vaccine – numbering some 800,000 in total — that were donated by China. While this has offered a glimpse of hope for some, it is simply not enough.
After the government said the country immediately needs some 50,000 cylinders of oxygen to ride out this wave, China offered to support 20,000 cylinders and other medical essentials. “We request the extension of this support with swift transport and further oxygen plant, oxygen concentrators and any other assistance to aid the oxygen supply in the country,” the statement said. “We would also like to appeal for your assistance with PPE and testing kits, masks and other medical equipment that can help our health care workers safely provide the basic necessary services to the affected.”
Besides the civil society members that include intellectuals from different sessions of the society have said as the first country to successfully bring this deadly virus under control, China’s experience and resources have been crucial. “As such, we would appreciate any emergency medical team support that you can extend to Nepal to assist our Nepali frontline workers on the ground in this fight against the pandemic,” the statement said.
The civil society members have requested Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi to convey their appeal and expedite support for Nepal from China.
The members of the civil society seeking support are educationist Prof. Dr. Hemraj Pant, activist Jagannath Lamichhane, activist Prem Sapkota, journalist Manomohan Swar of Kailali, senior advocate Ramesh Deb Bhatt of Kanchanpur; rights activist Basanti Chaudhary of Kailali, executive director of PDS-Nepal advocate Ajay Shankar Jha “Rupesh”, executive director of Samata Foundation Pradip Pariyar, writer/actor Khagendra Lamichhane, and acting President of Dalit NGO Federation (DNF) Bhakta Biswakarma.
Similarly, executive director of National Federation of Deaf, Nepal
Suman Adhikari, youth activist Deep Jyoti Shrestha, executive director of Jagaran Media CenterRem Bk, president of Rupandehi Trade Association Yamlal Lohoni, Lumbini Province president of Single Women’s Group for Human Rights Janaki Ghimire Aryal, Chairman of the High Court Bar, Butwal Jog Bahadur Khatri, rights activist Sikendra Paswan of Bara, activist Ful Mohammad Miya of Parsa, journalist Rajesh Karn of Janakpurdham, social activist Sharda Chand of Kanchanpur, social activist Ramesh Rai of Ilam, associate professor of Mahendra Multiple Campus, Dharan
Chakraraj Dahal, vice president of National Consumer Forum, Baglung Govindaraj Gautam, advocate Tuk Bahadur Thapa, and coordinator of Civil Society Network for Peace, Gandaki Province Bishnu Baral have also signed the appeal.
Other civil society activists include Girdhari Subedi, Sayapatri Samaj, Pokhara, Than Bahadur Chhetri, Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University, Nir Shrestha, Disability Rights Activist, Lokendra Sitaula, Associate Professor, Tehrathum Multiple Campus, Tehrathum, Dr. Arjun Aayadi, Associate Professor, Midwestern University, Surkhet, Amrit Kumar Bhandari, Syangja, Shubh Kayastha, Civic Activist, Bhaktapur, Rukmani Maharjan, Advocate, Kathmandu, Dr. Buddha Bahadur Thapa, Chairman, Nepal Professors Association Central Committee, Bhavani Prasad Pandey, Central Committee Members FNJ, Gunja Rai, Women’s Rights Activist, Janakpur, Kailash Dash, State President, Nepal National Dalit Journalists Association, Janakpur, Jayakant Goit, Former Teacher, Saptari, Bhola Paswan, Rights Activist, Saptari, Swagat Raj Pandey, Civic Activist, Kathmandu, Samson Karki, Filmmaker, Pravin KC, student, Deepak Acharya, Businessman, Som Niraula, Human Rights Activist, Kathmandu, Shivnath Yadav, Youth Activist, Birganj, Dawa Lhamu Sherpa, Young Mental Health Activist, Suraj Ray, student/activist, Richa Palikhe, activist/businessman, Annie, activist, Saugat Wagle, Disability Rights activist, Umid Bagchand, Journalist, Kailali, Ananda Mishra, environment activist, Dr. Prakash Bhattarai, Executive Director, Center for Social Change (CSC), Shehnaz Banu, Civic Activist, Kathmandu, Advocate Indu Tuladhar, Executive Chair, Himal Innovative Development and Research Pvt. Ltd. (HIDR), Sushma Barali, Journalist, Sangam Sherpa, businessman, Govind Pariyar, Journalist, Basanta Chippa, activist, Bhuwan KC, businessman, Advocate Krishna Prasad Timilsina, Pokhara, Neetu Pokharel, Women Rights Activist, Kiran Kausal, journalist, Palpa, Romas Khatiwada, activist, Nabin Silwal, activist, Samar Chhetri, lecturer, Department of Population Studies, Pramila Tajhya, women activist, Pokhara, Prakash Shrestha, activist, Basanta Joshi, activist, Asmita Dangi, activist, Nisu KC, activist, Nirajan Paudel, activist, Tusar Neupane, activist, Bijaya Rai Shrestha, Executive Director, AMKAS Nepal, Advocate Anita Thapaliya, Executive Chairperson, LAAC Nepal, Keshab Badi (Nepali), chairman, National Badi Network, Nepalgunj Banke, Jitram Lama, president, NGO Federation Nepal, Arjun Bhattarai, Coordinator, NSDF, Purushottam Bista, NEDI, Bhuwan KC, activist, Itisha Giri, writer/podcaster, Kathmandu, Avasna Pandey, journalist and Amuda Mishra, Human Rights activist.