2.4 million doses of vaccine not missing, Minister Khatiwada claims


Kathmandu: Minister for Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada has said 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have not missed.    
Organising a news conference at the Ministry of Health and Population today on his completion of 100 days as the minister, Khatiwada said the vaccines were not missing but the records of the inoculated jabs from the province, district and local levels were not received.    
He, however, said some doses of vaccines were damaged in the vaccination drive. It is said there are some technical issues regarding the wastage of the jabs.    
Minister Khatiwada said a five-member probe panel has been formed under the leadership of Ministry’s Chief Consultant Dr Gunaraj Lohani to probe into the issues of missing vaccines and additional information on the vaccines would be released soon.    
Likewise, he said the target population would be given full dose of vaccine against COVID-19 by mid-May and needed stock of the vaccine is already ensured to meet the target.    
On the occasion, the Minister announced to vaccinate all people over 12 years. Until February 10, 77 per cent people aged 12 have received the first dose and 69 per cent have received full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.    
Similarly, Minister Khatiwada said that availability of vaccine has already been guaranteed to provide vaccine against COVID-19 to children from 5-11 years.    
A total of 46.570 million doses of vaccines against COVID have been received so far and of them 34.825 million doses have already been administered.    
Vaccination campaign has been launched under the leadership of province and local-level governments identifying places and communities where vaccines are not available, shared Minister Khatiwada.    
He further said vaccine is being administered on a daily basis by setting up vaccination centres in major hospitals and different public places of cities where there is dense population.    
Similarly, vaccine is being administered on a daily basis to passengers at Bus Parks as well as in the main check points of the Kathmandu valley.    
The Health Minister mentioned that reduction of fee for PCR test of corona virus is one of the achievements of his 100 days term. The fee for PCR test has been reduced to Rs 1500 from Rs 2,000 at private labs while Rs 800 from Rs 1000 at government health institutions, he informed.    
Likewise, Minister Khatiwada said that capacity of hospitals have been developed by making arrangement of oxygen plant, cylinder, and beds at ICU, high dependency unit for the appropriate treatment of COVID-19 infected people.    
Minister Khatiwada shared that the vaccine immunoglobulin against rabies would be available from a designated hospital in each seven provinces for free. The vaccine was earlier being administered from the Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital.    
Construction of Senior Citizens Hospital to begin next fiscal year     
According to Minister Khatiwada, a committee formed to conduct feasibility study for the Senior Citizens Hospital was working. Construction of the Hospital targeted only for the senior citizens would begin from the next fiscal year.    
Government aims to build the Hospital in the central part of the country. The Minister informed that buildings were constructed for 2,200 ward-level primary health centres across the country. Tender process has begun to build 5-beded, 10-beded and 15-beded primary hospitals in 226 municipalities.    
Well-equipped hospital buildings constructed in Jiri (Dolakha district), Ramechhap and Gorkha in assistance with German Development Bank have been handed over, he said while releasing his progress details achieved during the first 100 days.    
Khatiwada was appointed Minister for Health and Population on October 8, 2021. He was elected from Constituency No 2 in Makawanpur in the parliamentary election in 2074 BS.