Ten countries, including Pakistan to take part in India-led initiative on COVID-19 crisis

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Feb 18, 2021, 07:10 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in Pakistan Photograph:( AFP )

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Each country has been invited to participate in one plus one format - health secretary and head of their technical team in charge of COVID-19 management. WION has learnt that Pakistan is participating under the SAARC umbrella.

Ten countries including Pakistan will take part in the India-led initiative on COVID-19 management on Thursday afternoon. 

India's health secretary will be hosting the workshop titled-- "COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward". The ten countries which will be part of it are - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka barring Mauritius and Seychelles rest all are SAARC members.

Each country has been invited to participate in one plus one format - health secretary and head of their technical team in charge of COVID-19 management. WION has learnt that Pakistan is participating under the SAARC umbrella. WION was the first channel to break the story of the meet and Pakistan's participation on Tuesday.

In March of last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a SAARC meet on the COVID-19 pandemic. The meet saw all the SAARC heads of government and state taking part barring Pakistan. Pakistan was present at a junior level at the meeting. One of the key outcomes of the meet was the establishment of the SAARC emergency fund with India contributing $10 million to it.

Amid the pandemic, India reached out to many countries in the region with medicines and other aid. It sent 75000 MT of food aid to Afghanistan via Chabahar, medical equipment, and other related things like masks to Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh. Under Mission Sagar 1, while it reached out to 5 countries in the Indian Ocean--Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, and Seychelles by sending medicines and food aid.

This year, India gifted covid vaccines to countries in the region. These are --Bangladesh with 20 Lakhs doses, Myanmar with 17 Lakhs doses, Nepal with 10 Lakhs, Bhutan with 1.5 Lakhs, the Maldives with 1 Lakh, Mauritius with 1 Lakh, Seychelles with 50000, Sri Lanka with 5 Lakhs, and Afghanistan 5 Lakhs.

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