A Video-Conference of SAARC Member States was held this evening to discuss responses to the Covid-19 outbreak. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza represented Pakistan in the Conference.

Dr. Mirza, while highlighting Pakistan’s approaches and responses to the pandemic, underscored that Pakistan had been engaged in containment efforts from the outset of the outbreak. Pakistan’s proactive strategy and containment efforts have been recognized and commended by the World Health Organization.

He underscored the need to empower and mandate the SAARC Secretariat to act as platform for regional efforts to combat the pandemic. Among other measures, he proposed instituting exit screening by member states for travelers in the region, and instituting mechanisms for learning from the effective efforts of China, a SAARC Observer State, in containment and control.

He reiterated Pakistan’s earlier proposal of hosting SAARC Health Ministers’ Conference at the earliest opportunity.

Islamabad

15 March 2020

111/2020
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