Health minister rules out irregularities in purchase of medicines

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Kathmandu - Minister for Health and Population, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal has ruled out any irregularities in the purchase of medicines and medical appliances from China. It may be noted that the government procured Coronavirus testing kits and personal protection equipment from China. Talking to Rastriya Samachar Samiti at the ministry on Monday, the minister said the shipments took place after announcing the bidding in a competitive way and going through the due process. He pledged to commit to his profession and not to misuse money until he is at the helm of political position. "Purchasing such equipment maybe a bit costly at the time of crisis.

The government, ministry and minister are not involved in any irregularities in purchasing the equipment. I deny the irregularities not only today but also tomorrow and will take moral responsibility for it," he said. Minister Dhakal said that he has been the victim of character assassination with the blame of irregularities in the purchase of medicines and medical equipment from China. "Efforts might have been afoot to distract me from my work. But I have gone past such difficulties and ready to face this situation," he said. "Initially, two companies applied for the bidding announced by the committee to bring medicines in times of crisis. But during discussions in this regard, one of the companies withdrew saying it could not supply medicines at this situation. The remaining company agreed to supply medicines at 0.5 percent below the specified rate."

In another context, Minister Dhakal said lockdown was extended by one more week in view of risks caused by mobility of people within the country and from foreign countries to Nepal and vice versa. The minister, also member of the High Level Coordination Committee for Prevention and Control of COVID-19, urged people not to spread panic and mistrust in the society through fake information regarding the infection. The private hospitals referring patients to other health institutions without providing treatment would face action, he said, adding that private hospitals have been asked to set up a five-bed isolation ward each for those visiting hospitals with high fever. "Private hospitals are bound to provide treatment to the patients with common cold and fever. In case of the patients with high fever, the hospitals should admit them and provide treatment. The hospitals have been asked to refer the patients infected with the virus to the hospitals designated by the government," he said.

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National News Agency, Nepal

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