The UK has sent 260 ventilators and 2,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, along with health experts, to Nepal to help the country’s fight against COVID-19.
A flight departed from RAF Brize Norton today (Thursday 27 May), transporting the ventilators, which have been sourced from surplus UK stocks, to Kathmandu.
Two health experts have also travelled to Nepal on the flight. They will work with the British Embassy in Kathmandu to assess how the UK can further support the Government of Nepal in their response to the pandemic.
Nepal is experiencing a huge surge COVID-19 infections, and the country’s healthcare system is facing an extreme shortage of essential supplies, including oxygen and medical equipment.
This package of support has been sent in response from a call for assistance from the Nepalese Government and will help meet Nepal’s most pressing needs and save lives.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Nepali friends, and this package of support will save lives and help to meet some of the country’s most acute needs.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said:
The worsening situation in Nepal is immensely challenging and we are sending protective and life-saving equipment to keep people safe and support their health system.
We will continue to work with the Nepalese government and do all we can to provide further support as needed.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace MP said:
We have an enduring defence relationship with Nepal and our Armed Forces are determined to do what we can to support them in their ongoing fight against COVID-19.
The Armed Forces are helping transport ventilators and other medical supplies to Nepal, which will help our Nepalese friends through this crisis.
The UK has worked closely with the Government of Nepal in the last few weeks during their acute health emergency and has already provided a range of support, including:
funding a £180,000 oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital to help tackle oxygen shortages. The oxygen from this plant is saving 150 lives a day
sending experts to help Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population with epidemiological analysis, and designing warehouses for vaccine storage
delivering medical equipment and PPE to COVID-19 hotspots in Nepal, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators to hospitals in Banke where there is particular need