Kathmandu, Apr. 6: Nepali Army (NA) Sunday confirmed that it had been assigned by the government to purchase medical equipment and medicines required for the prevention and control of the coronavirus (COVID-19) through government to government (G2G) process. “The NA is also an institution completely under the command of the government and has always been adhering to the government mandates and responsibilities during any type of crisis in the country,” Brigadier General and Directorate at the Directorate of Public Relations and Information (DPR&I) and spokesperson of Nepali Army Headquarters Bigyan Dev Pandey said at a press conference organised through the video teleconference. The decision to give the responsibility to purchase medical goods to the NA through G2G process was made by the Cabinet meeting held on March 29, confirmed the NA. For purchasing the medical equipment, the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre-Operations (CCMC-Ops) has currently been listing out the materials and equipment that are essential for treating the patients found positive for the virus, spokesperson Pandey said. “Under the logistic operation cluster out of four clusters under the CCMC-Ops, we will build better coordination and communication with officials from the Health Ministry, Department of Health, Defence Ministry and WHO representatives, while purchasing the medical equipment and medicines,” he said. The NA has said that it would not entertain local agents while carrying out this task. “At present, we are expediting purchase processes by holding discussions with the embassies here in Nepal to reach a conclusion on the issue,” Pandey said. “The medical equipment could be brought from any country, but most probably from the neighbouring countries, which have successfully fought against the virus, and other nations beyond, but it has not been fixed yet,” Pandey said. For quality assurance, Quality Control Assurance Committee has been formed under the CCMC. The committee will comprise 12th grade official from the Ministry of Health and Population, Medical Cluster Team under the CCMC, official from the Quality Determination and Regulation Division under the Health Ministry, and Purchase Sub-section of the NA. The NA would purchase the required goods remaining under the guidelines and system of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and its Regulation, Pandey said. According to Pandey, the NA has also formed a Medicine and Health Equipment Management Committee under Master General of Ordnance (MGO) Major General Prabhuram Sharma. The committee has representatives from Directorate General of Military Intelligence (DGMI), Directorate General of Military Operation, Director General of the Health Department under the Health Ministry, Legal Department of the NA led by Ratna Prakash Thapa, and Finance and Administration Offices of the NA as members. Brigadier General Pandey said the NA’s deployment and role during any type of disaster and crisis management in the country had been stipulated in Article 276 of the constitution. “The responsibility handed by the government to the NA to purchase medical goods is both a challenge and opportunity and a reflection of the positive relationship built by the NA with the public and the government,” spokesperson Pandey said. “We can’t guarantee the date and time of the confirmation about purchasing the medical goods, but we have already expedited the processes; let’s hope this will happen very soon,” Pandey said. Meanwhile, the NA said it had so far built 4,290 quarantine beds across the country. Pandey said of the total quarantines, 2,130 have already been occupied as of Sunday. And out of 506 isolation beds, 39 people have currently occupied the beds across the country, he said.