Video conference of senior health professionals from SAARC countries was postponed in the wake of coronavirus, a news agency reported. The conference was scheduled for earlier will now take place on March 26 wherein the experts will exchange their experiences in combating COVID-19 too far.
Along with current developments on tracking the virus, which includes screening at entry points, contact tracing and quarantine facilities, the experts were also supposed to discuss a practical joint action on "online training capsules for emergency response teams", setting up of an Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal, creation of a Common Research Platform and coordination of research on controlling epidemics within the South Asian region, a news agency reported citing MEA.
Following an initiative by PM Narendra Modi, a video conference of SAARC leaders was held on March 15. In the conference, the leaders of all member countries shared their experiences of dealing with the virus along with problems they were facing and called for solidarity in the region.
India's pledge to battle corona was a contribution made voluntarily and was not an obligation. However, other member countries have followed India's footsteps and loosened their purse strings. Latest to have announced funding is Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government has announced USD 1.5 million to get a note of appreciation from PM Modi. "Our cooperation will go a long way in fighting this disease effectively'' tweeted the Indian Prime Minister. He also thanked the Afghan government for their contribution.
Countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives have already announced their contributions to the SAARC Corona Fund. However, Pakistan has not pledged any fund for the same. In fact, during the SAARC leaders' video conference meet, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was missing. He was represented by his special adviser Zafar Mirza.
Image Credits: PTI