Spain provides medical supplies worth one million euros to Nepal to combat Covid-19 surge

Photo: MOFA

NL Today

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: Spain has provided medical assistance to Nepal to combat the massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

An aircraft carrying over five tons of medical supplies including ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and antigen test kits among others sent by the Humanitarian Action Office of the Spanish Cooperation Agency, and the Spanish Health Ministry landed in Kathmandu on Thursday. The shipment was handed over by the Director of AECID Magdy Martínez-Solimán to Minister for Health Hyridesh Tripathi.

The shipment, sent from Madrid on a chartered flight comprises 33 pallets, valued at around one million euros. The shipment, includes 15 respirators, 10 oxygen concentrators, together with consumables and spare parts necessary for their use, 144,000 FFP2 face masks, and some 125,000 antigen tests.

The aid as part of the humanitarian response of the European Union’s Team Europe to jointly support the most vulnerable countries in the fight against Covid-19, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The medical supplies were provided to help Nepal tackle the pandemic following requests for assistance were made by the Nepali Embassy in Madrid.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya had earlier tweeted that a flight to Nepal to repatriate mountaineers and aid workers stranded in Katmandu will carry medical supplies.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with the Spanish Foreign Minister and thanked her for the generous healthcare support.

As Covid-19 cases surged in May, Nepal had requested aid from the European Civil Protection Mechanism to provide medical supplies and help contain the spread of the pandemic. At the same time, the Embassy of Nepal sent a request to Spain’s Foreign Ministry, to which an immediate offer to provide humanitarian support to Nepal was made.

The medical supplies were provided to help Nepal tackle the pandemic following requests for assistance were made by the Nepali Embassy in Madrid.

“Last year’s tragic Covid-19 wave hit Spain particularly hard. The country went into a strict lockdown for months and only recently lifted the state of emergency. Spain gained extensive experience in handling and managing the pandemic”, Dawa Futi Sherpa, Nepal’s Ambassador to Spain said, “If there is a country that can understand the devastating health crisis currently unfolding in Nepal, it is Spain”.

The Embassy of Nepal in Madrid, Spain, coordinated with Spain’s Foreign Affairs, MOFA, the Embassy of Spain in Delhi, and the Honorary consul in Kathmandu to send medical aid and supplies to Nepal, to repatriate Spanish nationals and residents stranded in Nepal and to send medical supplies by the Non-resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Spain.

“Spain responded quickly to our request for aid. I want to thank the Spanish people for their support and solidarity during this crisis”, Ambassador Sherpa said, “This is a very positive gesture from Spain and strengthens our bilateral partnership”.

NRNA, Spain sends medical supplies

The flight also carried medical supplies donated by NRNA, Spain. The shipment includes 17,600 surgical masks, sanitizers, gloves, and face shields among other health items.

Spain chapter of NRNA said in a statement said that Nepalis living in Spain started fund collection to help Nepal fight tackle the pandemic.

“The situation is getting worse in Nepal due to lack of adequate beds and oxygen at hospitals. We have started the fund collection with the intention of helping Nepal and Nepalis to overcome the suffering,” NRNA, Spain said in the statement.