The Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has approved the deployment Army Medical and Advisory Team (MAT) and c.3500kg of medical supplies to Nepal. The flight has arrived in Kathmandu. The medical supplies will be handed over to the Ministry of Health on 31 May 21 once they have cleared customs. FCDO are in further talks with Nepali Foreign Minister and Nepali Ambassador in the UK to further identify additional requirements; multiple avenues continue to be explored to inform and assist with the national decision-making process. Apart from deployment of a MAT and delivery of medical equipment on board the repatriation flight no further details in response to Nepal’s requests for support have been announced. Oxygen cylinders from China (see para 2b (2) below) have arrived in Kathmandu.
- The UN “Covid-19 Media Monitoring, Nepal” as at 28 May 21 gives a more granular report on the situation in various parts of Nepal.
- International organisation operating in Nepal are planning repatriation of non-essential staff.
- All international flights (except charter and those to/from India) ceased until 31 May 21. Two flights per week will continue between Nepal and India. Suspension of flights have now been extended until 31 May 21.
- The Government of Nepal (GoN) has decided to allow one flight a week to China and Qatar to ease the supply of medical goods and ease commuting for stranded people.
- Local newspapers have also reported that the government is considering allowing a limited number of scheduled flights from Jun 21 to allow citizens to return home and fly broad.
- Domestic Airlines suspended until further notice.
- GoN has given rights to each local government to impose a lockdown or take any other additional measures if COVID cases reach certain limits. The three Chief District Officers (CDOs) of Kathmandu Valley have extended the lockdown in the valley until 3 Jun 21. Restriction have been increased and fresh food shops opening hours limited to 0700 and 0900. No one is allowed out for any the reason other than shopping for going to the hospital.
- There is no assured capacity to admit new COVID patients to hospital. All hospitals are at maximum capacity and provision only becomes available after patient discharge or dies.
- Dep Col Comdt tabled an urgent question in the House of Lords for 19 May.
- Pressure brought by several Lords for a special effort for Nepal, notably from Lord Sheikh and the Earl of Sandwich who both sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Nepal.
- Lord Ahmad (Minister for South Asia & Commonwealth) had spoken to the Nepali Foreign Minister on 18 May and was in dialogue with the Nepali Ambassador in the UK.
- UK Aid essential medical supplies have arrived in Nepal. UK Ambassador to Nepal (Ms Nicola Pollitt) met the aircraft at Kathmandu airport.
- Change Org petition to FSec launchedwith lots of high profile signatories: Joanna Lumley, Michael Palin, scientists, academics, Everest climbers, Gurkha veterans, including Capt Rambahadur Limbu VC, two former Col Comdts and other friends of Nepal, join the call for urgent medical aid.– Petition – Send Oxygen to Nepal.
- Col Comdt and HQBG are engaging with senior leaders in Army HQ.
- CGS’ office have engaged with DA Kathmandu.
- FCDO/MoD continue to monitor the worsening COVID situation in Nepal and concurrent activity to generate maximum support is in progress.
- FCDO/MOD discussion reassess the humanitarian situation and further support options.
- MoD support and FCDO approved medical equipment (see para 2d (2) for details), landed in Kathmandu at 2145 hrs (Local) today – 28 May 21.
- Army HQ staff are reviewing options to provide wider support to Nepal in line with the FCDO intent. Chief of Defence Logistics Support (CDLS) staff are addressing the delta between aspiration and provision and are working on plans to close this gap.
- MoD will hold a meeting today to discuss what else UK and MoD can do to support Nepal. The significant wish list received will be discuss with the aim of preparing a Ministerial Submission.
- The Army has a prioritised list to withdraw all non-essential and at-risk service personnel/dependants to UK. Total c150 pax (including those on leave) are due to be repatriated commencing 28 May 21.
- HQBG Team on standby for Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI).