Nepali returnees from India receiving Covid-19 shots at Gaddachauki borderAround 375 people have received AstraZeneca vaccine at the border point as of Tuesday, health officials say.
The District Health Office in Kanchanpur started providing Covid-19 vaccines to Nepali returnees from India at the Gaddachauki border point from Thursday.
“As per the government decision, we have been administering the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to those returning from India through the border point. Those who received the first dose will receive their second dose at their respective local units,” said Shivaraj Sunar, chief at the District Health Office in Kanchanpur.
According to Sunar, all returnees from India have to take the vaccine at the border point.
“These days, around 200 to 250 individuals are entering Nepal from Gaddachauki border point on a daily basis. Among them, approximately 100 are receiving their Covid-19 jabs at the border point. The rest have already been inoculated in India,” said Sunar.
According to the data of the District Health Office, 375 individuals had received AstraZeneca vaccines in the Gaddachauki border point as of Tuesday.
“Returnees have to undergo antigen testing at the border. Those who test positive are sent to isolation facilities while the rest are given their first dose of the vaccine at the border,” said Sunar.
Nepali workers who missed out on the vaccination drive in India are relieved with the government’s initiative.
“I got my first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at the border point. Now I will return to India only after receiving the second dose,” said Lokendra Bista, a resident of Jajarkot who recently returned from India.
Narendra Joshi of Darchula was also administered his first dose of vaccine at Gaddachauki border point in Kanchanpur on Monday.
“I know when and where to go for the second dose in Nepal. It was difficult for common people like us to get vaccinated in India,” said Joshi.
Of late, the infection rate among people returning from India has dwindled.
According to health workers, out of 300 people entering Nepal from the Gaddichauki border point, only one or two persons test positive for Covid-19 through antigen testing on a daily basis.
“The vaccination drive at the border point ensures that the infection rate does not increase. It will be helpful in preventing the possible third wave of the pandemic,” said Sunar.
The second wave of the Covid-19 infection had affected several districts of Sudurpaschim Province, as returnees from India were sent home without having undergone even a basic health check up at the border. As many as 175 people died of Covid-19 in Kanchanpur during the second wave as compared to just 16 fatalities during the first wave.