April 6: Following widespread criticism in procurement of essential supplies and medical kits through a private company, the government has decided to adopt G2G and B2G models to purchase the supplies to fight coronavirus.
The high-level coordination committee for prevention and control of Covid 19 took a decision to this effect on Sunday.
The committee said that the government can choose any of the two methods to buy essential medicines during time of crisis, as per the Public Procurement Act.
“The provision in the act says that government can buy supplies from foreign government. Similarly according to the rules and regulations, the supplies can be bought through competition among the private parties,” said Narayan Prasad Bidari, spokesperson of the high level committee.
Recently, the Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population had reached an agreement of Rs 1.24 billion with the Omni Group for the supply of medicines from China. According to the agreement, Omni Group had brought 10 items worth Rs 290 million. However, as after allegations that the materials supplied by the company were of poor quality, the procurement deal was scrapped.
The company had brought those supplies from Guangzhou in a chartered flight of NAC recently. After cancellation of the agreement with Omni, the government has handed the responsibility of procurement to the Nepalese Army. The decision says that Ministry of Defense will procure the medicines and essential supplies through the Nepalese Army using G2G method.
A section of society had raised concerns regarding the use of army in supply of the medicines stating that the army does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority and therefore the deal might be subject to corruption.
However, the Nepalese Army on Sunday organised a press conferencing ensuring that the procurement process will be transparent.
In the conference, the Army said that separate mechanism has been formed to make the process transparent.
Similarly, the ones who are staying in 14 days quarantine will be allowed to go home only after their swab tests, said the government. In case of any symptoms, they will be treated in isolation ward.
Bidari further said that the ones who are kept in quarantine will be strictly monitored, and will be sent home only after they are assured that the suspects are fully cured.