Plane carrying over 1.2 million vaccine doses returns to China after failing to land in KathmanduAirport officials say the aircraft will come back later on Monday. More vaccine doses are scheduled to arrive from India as well.
A Sichuan Airlines’ cargo plane carrying 1,201,887 doses of Vero Cell vaccine had to return on Monday morning after it failed to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu due to poor visibility.
The plane, which was scheduled to land at 7:15am, made a few attempts to land in Kathmandu before returning to China, airport officials said.
“We had gone to the airport to receive the vaccine doses but the plane could not land due to poor visibility,” Badebabu Thapa, a senior official at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health services, told the Post. “We waited for a few hours at the airport and returned to our office.”
Officials at the Tribhuvan International Airport said that the plane will come back again later on Monday.
The vaccine doses are part of over 5.9 million doses purchased through COVAX’s cost-sharing mechanism using a loan from the Asian Development Bank.
It will be the third consignment to arrive in Kathmandu once the plane brings the vaccines later on Monday.
Additional doses are also scheduled to arrive on Monday.
The Ministry of Health and Population said 1,870,500 doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, will arrive from India.
Nepal so far has received 31,195,090 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Nepal needs to vaccinate around 78 percent of its over 30 million estimated population, or around 25 million people. Since 4-5 million Nepalis are said to be living abroad, the number of people who need to be vaccinated is estimated to be around 20 million.
So far, 9,623,001 people (31.7 percent of total estimated population) have been fully immunised.