(TibetanReview.net, Feb08’21) – Nepal had no choice but to accept 500,000 vials of Sinovac vaccine produced by China’s Sinopharm despite the fact that essential data about it was lacking and the government was yet to approve it. The Nepali media on Feb 7 published stories on the basis of leaked correspondences between Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu which show how China coerced Nepal to accept the vaccine.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was stated to have held a telephone conversation with his Nepali counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Feb 5 and put pressure on him to accept the vaccines first under the condition that the details about the vaccines will be sent afterward.
“Necessary documents will be provided later, but take the vaccine immediately,” the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu was also stated to have communicated in writing to the Nepali government, warning that otherwise the country may need to wait quite long to get the vaccine.
Nepali officials have confirmed that the letter was genuine, reported the IANS news service Feb 8.
While Nepal raised concern about the vaccine in question, China told it to transport the Sinopharm vaccines immediately and that the relevant documents, including the legal disclaimer, may be provided simultaneously or later.
Nepal had earlier asked the company supplying the vaccine to provide the required documents first and had complained to the Chinese Embassy in Nepal about not getting it.
Sinovac vaccine has been found to be only 50.4% effective in third phase trials in Brazil.
Meanwhile, India has promised two million Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal while the UK has promised another two million vaccines.