We all fought Covid challenge with a coordinated response: PM Modi

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Feb 18, 2021, 06:17 PM(IST)

PM Narendra Modi Photograph:( AFP )

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Representatives from countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka attended the workshop.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said hopes of the region and the world are focused on rapid deployment of vaccines and there is need to maintain "the same cooperative and collaborative spirit".

If the 21st century is to be the Asian century, it cannot be so without greater integration among the countries of South Asia and the Indian Ocean islands. The spirit of regional solidarity shown during the pandemic has proven that such integration is possible,” he said at a workshop on “COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward” with 10 neighbouring countries, including those in the extended neighbourhood. 

“Through our openness and determination, we have managed to achieve one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. Today, the hopes of our region and the world are focused on rapid deployment of vaccines. In this too, we must maintain the same cooperative and collaborative spirit,” he said.

“Can we create a regional platform for collating; compiling and studying data about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines among our populations can we similarly create a regional network for promoting technology-assisted epidemiology, for preventing future pandemics?” Modi said.

Noting that the spirit of collaboration is a valuable takeaway from COVID-19 pandemic he said that “Such collaboration can become the pathway for greater regional cooperation among us in other areas too. After all, we share so many common challenges -climate change, natural disasters, poverty, illiteracy, and social and gender imbalances. But we also share the power of centuries’ old cultural and people-to-people linkages,.” 

Representatives from countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka attended the workshop.

The Prime Minister said the countries shared experiences and learned from each other's best practices in testing, infection control and medical waste management.

"Through webinars, online courses and IT portals, we developed our own best practices based on what worked best for us. Each one of us contributed immensely to this pooling of knowledge and experience," he said.

"If the 21st Century is to be the Asian Century, it cannot be without greater integration among the countries of South Asia and the Indian Ocean island countries. The spirit of regional solidarity that you have shown during the pandemic has proven that such integration is possible," he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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