India's neighbouring nations including Pakistan have appreciated and supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five-point COVID-19 management plan.
The Prime Minister was addressing the workshop on the management of COVID-19 and its experience and way forward for healthcare professionals from member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Mauritius and Seychelles.
Apart from Seychelles and Mauritius, countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India participated in the workshop. Prime Minister Modi suggested countries should consider a special visa scheme for doctors and nurses in order to avoid any travel-related hassles during emergencies and smooth coordination between civil aviation ministries for a regional air ambulance agreement for medical contingencies.
Besides this, the Prime Minister also suggested sharing successful public policies and schemes focused on healthcare. PM Modi also acknowledged the contribution of countries of South Asia and the Indian Ocean island countries and 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."
The proposals suggested by PM Narendra Modi were supported by all the countries including Pakistan. All participants including Pakistan agreed on a structured discussion for regional cooperation on the proposals to take them forward. They also agreed on the need to cooperate on a regional basis to mitigate healthcare crises like the coronavirus pandemic.
All countries except Pakistan thanked India and PM Modi for the coronavirus vaccine supplies under the Vaccine Maitri initiative and other medicines, equipment and training.
With agency inputs; by Mehak Agarwal