KATHMANDU: Nepal’s prime minister has made an urgent plea for vaccines to his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, as the Himalayan nation experiences a devastating second wave of coronavirus.
Speaking to the BBC, KP Sharma Oli said it was Britain’s responsibility given the historic ties the nations share. Oli said the sacrifices of Nepal’s Gurkha soldiers serving the UK should make Nepal a priority for UK Covid aid.
Nepal reported a high of 9,000 daily infections last month. “I want to convince the UK Government, particularly Prime Minister Boris Johnson, about the situation in Nepal and how we are suffering,” Oli said.
Nepal, which has one of the highest rates of positive tests in the world, saw a surge of cases in May, recording more than 4,000 deaths over the course of the month.
At the start of February, Nepal was reporting around 100 daily cases, but by early May that figure had jumped to as many as 9,000 daily infections.
A national lockdown which began in April remains in place but many say it came too late.
The country’s borders with India remain open. Critics say that failing to close them allowed the Delta variant detected in India to spread quickly into Nepal as migrant workers returned home.