In March 2020, when Nepal was hit by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, not a single company in the country was producing hand sanitizer. After a year, the nation now has 26 registered companies engaged in the manufacturing process.
According to the country’s drug authority, the Department of Drug Administration, no company had applied for permission to manufacture sanitizer until last year. However, 26 companies, including the government-owned Nepal Aushadhi Limited, have received permits in recent months, according to Santosh KC, the company’s information officer.
According to KC, there are a slew of other companies involved.
“I don’t know of any instance of controlling this commodity before Covid-19,” says Narayan Prasad Dhakal, the chief of the department during the first wave of the pandemic. “Last year, we defined requirements for this and opened the way for its manufacturing in Nepal.”
Meanwhile, according to KC, five companies have been granted licenses to import and sell sanitizer produced in other countries.