Addressing the SAARC video conference on Sunday, State Minister of Health, Zafar Mirza said that Pakistan shares the common regional concerns on the coronavirus- as 'it is the most serious global health emergency in the last 100 years'. Highlighting that there is 'no room for complacency', he expanded on the response mechanics of his country, adding that PM Imran Khan is personally overseeing the efforts. He also said that movements have been restricted to an from affected countries, screening has started, quarantine facilities have been established. He added that Pakistan has shut educational institutions for 3 weeks, the entire western border for 2 weeks, restricted international flights to 3 airports only and has also banned all large public gatherings.
"WHO's advice offers a reasonable way forward - Prevent, Detect, Respond, Conduct research and Innovation. Pakistan has been involved in the containment right from the outset of the outbreak. We have been alert and have put in place appropriate public health measures and developed required protocols and guidelines for the safety of people. We have strongly advised against panic. Calm, calculated and deliberate response is the need of the hour," he added.
Prime Minister Modi had urged the SAARC nations to share the efforts and issues for tackling the pandemic. However, Pakistan also raised Jammu and Kashmir during the meet.
"We hope that during this COVID-19 our member countries will provide access to all the regions. In this regard, it is a matter of concern that COVID-19 has reported from Jammu and Kashmir. In the view of emergency its imperative that all lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir must be lifted immediately, opening up communication and movement," he said.
Taking initiative to battle the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19), PM Modi, announced setting up a common 'COVID-19 emergency fund' and pledged $10 million as India's contribution to it, while addressing a SAARC conference to battle COVID-19. "I propose we create a COVID-19 emergency fund. This could be based on a voluntary contribution for all of us. India can start with an initial offer of USD 10 million and any one of us can use this fund for battling COVID19. We are assembling a Rapid action team of doctors in India along with testing kits to be on standby at your disposal if required," he said.
The Prime Minister addressed a SAARC video conference to share each other efforts and issues as the seven countries battle the pandemic. The video conference was led by PM Modi and was attended by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Maldives President Ibrahim Solih, Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's assistant - Dr Zafar Mirza. PM Modi highlighted the SAARC's ancient ties and said that 'we must work and succeed together'. As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has risen upto 107, with two deaths in the country.