Following allegation of irregularities in procurement of medical kits from China through a private company, the government has decided to entrust the Nepal Army for the supply of essential medical equipment at a time when the country is facing threat from the coronavirus pandemic.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers has decided to entrust the army to initiate the supply of medical kits through the government to government (G2G) procurement process from China.
Ministry of Defense has already communicated with the Nepal Army about the cabinet decision, said sources at the ministry.
“Defense Ministry is to procure the medicine, medical equipment and other medical kits essential for treatment and prevention of Covid-19, as well as to contain the disease from spreading after necessary coordination with Health and Population Ministry,” reads the cabinet decision taken on Sunday.
The health ministry has already decided to terminate a contract with the controversial supplier Omni Group after finding that rapid testing kits supplied by the firm was substandard.
Widespread criticism over the faulty procurement procedure prompted Prime Minister KP Oli to grill the officials including Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal involved in the deal.
After concerns from other cabinet ministers, the government decided to choose G2G process entrusting the Nepal Army to initiate the process, said a cabinet source.
Although the government is yet to make the cabinet decision officially public, Republica has received a copy of cabinet decision taken on Sunday.