Chinese joint venture donates 200 oxygen concentrators to Nepal

KATHMANDU, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Hongshi Shivam Cement Private Limited, a China-Nepal joint venture in Nepal, has donated 200 oxygen concentrators to the Nepali government to help the country treat more COVID-19 patients, the company said Wednesday.

A team of young volunteers work to prepare an COVID-19 isolation center at a new building of Bir Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 5, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

The company handed over the oxygen concentrators through the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), a group of medium- and large-scale industries in Nepal.

Satish Kumar More, director of the joint venture, told Xinhua that 173 oxygen concentrators were handed over to the Nepali Health Ministry in Kathmandu and 27 others were sent to the Nepali Embassy in Beijing.

The 173 oxygen concentrators were brought to Kathmandu aboard a chartered flight by the Nepal Airlines on Tuesday along with a shipment of oxygen cylinders donated by the Chinese government.

"I think the oxygen concentrators that we donated to the Nepali government will be helpful to provide oxygen to the COVID-19 patients because of its relatively higher capacity," said More, who is also the president of the CNI.

According to a CNI press statement, the oxygen concentrators are worth 20 million Nepali rupees, or some 170,000 U.S. dollars. An oxygen concentrator takes in air, separates the oxygen and delivers it to the patient.

Addressing the handover ceremony, Nepal's Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi said the oxygen concentrators received during the coronavirus pandemic would work as alternatives to oxygen cylinders, according to the CNI.

Some hospitals in Nepal have stopped admitting new patients due to an insufficient supply of oxygen, as a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has sickened more than 8,000 people per day in the country in the past few days alone.

The Hongshi Shivam Cement is the largest operating cement plant in Nepal.