Pakistan supports PM Modi's proposals for regional cooperation on Covid-19

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing at the launch of the pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing, in New Delhi on January 16, 2021. PIB

In an unusual move, Pakistan has supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five proposals on making South Asia a Covid-19 free region.

Official sources told IANS that at the health secretary-level SAARC virtual workshop held on the management of Covid-19, where Pakistan was invited, there was a complete consensus on Prime Minister Modi’s ideas.

In his address to the SAARC officials earlier on Thursday, Modi had made a strong pitch for regional cooperation in combating Covid-19. He had proposed the member countries to consider creating a special visa scheme for regional doctors and nurses so that they can travel quickly within the region during health emergencies on the request of the receiving countries.

He also recommended the civil aviation ministries of the member countries to coordinate a regional air ambulance agreement for medical contingencies. His third suggestion for the SAARC was to create a regional platform for collating, compiling and studying the data for the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines among the region’s population.

Modi also suggested the creation of a regional network for promoting technology-driven epidemiology for preventing future pandemics. Lastly, he proposed that the SAARC members should go beyond Covid-19 and share their successful public health policies and schemes with each other.

Official sources said that all the SAARC countries, including Pakistan, supported Modi’s five proposals and offered to hold a structured discussion for regional cooperation on his proposals to take them forward. IANS