Sinopharm is dissatisfied with the Nepalese government after media reports revealed the purchase price of the Sinopharm vaccine amounting to 10% of what Kathmandu plans to buy from Beijing for the second wave of COVID-19. It has already been reported that four million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine will be purchased under a non-disclosure agreement with Nepal, presented by the Chinese company in order to keep the details under wraps including the price and delivery date. The official told the Post that the company had expressed displeasure with the government’s disclosure of vaccine procurement. The article in Kathmandu Post revealed the price of the SinophARM vaccine doses to be delivered to the government based on confirmation of two ministers and two state – secretaries who attended the cabinet on Monday and decided to purchase four million vaccine doses from the company.
The Post reported that the price was determined by the nature of the agreement and that the official price was $10 per dose. The way the media cited the price and other logistical issues related to the vaccine price are among the thorniest issues, Dr. Krishna Prasad Paudel, a health ministry spokesman, told the Post.
Several government officials told the Post that Sinopharm had notified the Nepalese government of its displeasure with the publication of the vaccine procurement. The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu also reminded the Foreign Ministry of the nature of the deal, the officials said. The officials confirmed that China had communicated its displeasure to Nepalese authorities.
“There is a lot of interest in the media that the agreement has been reached, which worries us. We are worrying whether or not we will get the vaccine, said Dr. Krishna Prasad Paudel, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, to the post.
The Health Ministry on Thursday denied media reports that it had bought the vaccine from China. The ministry did not say how the agreement was reached, but blamed the media for the dissemination of information about China’s vaccine procurement. In an unusual part of the health ministry it published its statement in English, indicating that Nepal had asked China to give priority to Kathmandu in the area of vaccine cooperation.
The Nepalese Government has asked the Government of the People’s Republic of China to give priority to Kathmandu in the vaccination cooperation. The process of securing vaccines from various countries, including China, is ongoing, “the statement said.
Media reports about the quantity, price, delivery and other relevant information regarding vaccine procurement are premature, speculative and misleading. The ministry strongly rejects such unfounded and baseless media reports.
The news was reported in the English media and we made a statement in English “, said Dr. Samir Kumar Adhikari, a Joint Secretary for the Ministry who signed the statement on Friday. Purchasing vaccines from China is easier said than done, given Sinopharm’s secrecy proposal. The agreement includes not only the indication of the price of the goods in quantity, but also the method of advance payment and other details.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Minister Mahaseth told a television station that the government had bought 4 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from Chinamany after learning of the Nepalese Health Ministry statement accusing the media of unsolicited information about the vaccine, while Prime Minister Oli and the Foreign Minister discussed the matter, The Post reported. On the same day, Oli was informed that the COVID-19 crisis management centre, which he heads, had procured the vaccine from China.