Swiss Humanitarian Aid, part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), dispatches 1.1 million antigen tests, 40 respirators, 10 oxygen concentrators and personal protective equipment to Kathmandu. The humanitarian aid shipment is worth around 7.5 million Swiss francs.
In response to an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal and Nepali authorities’ appeal for international assistance, Swiss Humanitarian Aid swiftly set up a crisis unit composed of staff from the Swiss embassy in Kathmandu, the Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) and the FDFA’s State Secretariat, a press release by Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) states.
A cargo aircraft will leave Zurich for Kathmandu on Friday carrying 30 tons of supplies, reads the statement. “The consignment comprises 40 respirators provided free of charge by the Armed Forces Pharmacy, 10 oxygen concentrators purchased from private companies by Swiss Humanitarian Aid, 1.1 million antigen tests donated by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), and personal protective equipment (overalls and gloves)”.
Nepal is one of the priority countries of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which has so far allocated CHF 12 million to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country, according to the press statement. This latest Swiss Humanitarian Aid consignment comes after 13 tons of respirators, oxygen concentrators and other supplies were shipped on 6 May to India, which shares a border with Nepal. Swiss Humanitarian Aid continues to monitor health developments relating to COVID-19 worldwide and is ready to provide assistance to the extent possible upon request.