Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a videoconference in New Delhi | Photo: GDP
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New Delhi: a special visa for doctors and nurses, an air ambulance agreement for medical contingencies and the establishment of a common platform to study the effectiveness of Covid19 vaccines in neighboring countries, including the Pakistan, signaled five proposals from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ThePrint has learned.
India hosted a one-day workshop on Thursday with nine neighboring countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka on “Managing COVID -19: experience, good practices and way forward ”.
The event was opened with a video speech by PM Modis in which he suggested several points for discussion.
A senior official, who attended the event, told ThePrint that every country has endorsed Modi’s suggestions and that further discussions will be initiated shortly.
“All countries have been forthright in saying that we support all suggestions. Not even a single representative from the country said we will come back or respond later, ”the official said.
“We will soon be starting new discussions on how to turn suggestions into reality.”
Another government source confirmed: “All countries have agreed that such regional cooperation is necessary to tackle such pandemics. They proposed a structured discussion for regional cooperation on these proposals to take them forward. “
Also read: Indian pharmacy in the world, but the industry is fragmented, according to the lobby of unorganized foreign companies
Countries thank India for free vaccines
The workshop was chaired by Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The event was attended by the health secretaries of all the neighboring countries as well as their technical heads. “Some countries sent two technical advisers to attend the workshop with their health secretary. In addition, from Pakistan, the Prime Minister’s special adviser, Mr. Imran Khan, also attended the event, ”said the official quoted above.
The official said all countries except Pakistan thanked India for giving them the Covid-19 vaccines for free.
“Eight countries, except Pakistan, thanked us for donating the Covid-19 vaccines for free. They also thanked us for providing medicines, materials in the early stages of the pandemic.
Pakistan uses vaccines made by the Chinese company Sinopharm.
As part of the welcome speech to kick off the meeting, the PM suggested some points for discussion and presented five proposals.
According to the PM’s video address uploaded to his official Twitter handle, his main suggestion was to consider creating a “special visa regime for our doctors and nurses, so that they can quickly travel to our region in the event of a problem. ‘health emergency, at the request of the host country’.
He also suggested exploring the possibility that civil aviation ministries could coordinate a “regional air ambulance agreement for medical emergencies”.
Another suggestion concerned the creation of a regional platform for the collection, compilation and study of data on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines among populations in the region.
“Can we similarly create a regional network to promote technology-assisted epidemiology, to prevent future pandemics?” Modi said in his speech.
His last suggestion to neighboring countries was to share effective public health policies and programs with each other.
“Beyond COVID-19, can we also share our successful public health policies and programs?” He asked, adding: “… from India our Ayushman Bharat and Jan Arogya programs can be useful case studies for our friends in the region. “
Also read: India led by example in global diplomacy with Covid, climate change, says Jaishankar
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