Vaccines meant for elderly citizens misused in Rampur

BP Aryal

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Rampur (Palpa): People’s representatives in Rampur Municipality have been widely criticized for misusing the Covid19 vaccines meant for elderly citizens.

According to the municipal sources, 630 vials of Covid-19 vaccines were recently brought for the people aged between 60 to 64 years.

The stakeholders blamed that the targeted groups are deprived of getting vaccines while the persons close to elected representatives got immunized.

Bishnu Pokhrel of Ward No 6 of the municipality said in a Facebook post that the vaccines meant for elderly citizens were given to party cadres and relatives of people’s representatives.

“Wide range of condemnation would not be enough to the representatives who misused vaccines meant for targeted people by saying older people that there is no vaccine stock,” Pokhrel said.

A 73-year-old woman in Ward No 6 has not received even first doze of the vaccines while the government gave top priority to the people over 70.

Municipal officials admitted that 85 vials of vaccines were given to non-targeted persons under the influence of representatives.

“After vaccinating 445 people aged 62 to 64, the remaining 85 vials were given other people of chronic diseases. It was not possible to avoid pressure from elected representatives,” said Giri Raj Ghimire, Chief of the health division in Rampur Municipality.

The records of Rampur Municipality show that a total of 1,223 people were kept in quarantine in the last fiscal year. Till now, over 1,000 people tested Covid-19 positive and at least a dozen died of the pandemic in the municipality. The municipality shut down all 24 quarantine centers and a 50-bed isolation center since the end of the last fiscal year in July 2020.

The municipality disbursed Rs 10 million for the Covid management activities in the last fiscal year while the government provided Rs 1.5 million for the local body.

Similarly, the municipality allocated Rs 10 million in the current fiscal year for the Covid response, according to the Account Section of the municipality. Additionally, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers disbursed Rs 1 million to each of the 753 municipalities across the country, according to the Prime Minister’s Office in Kathmandu.

BP Aryal is a freelance journalist.This news is based on a fellowship program.