India proposes shared electronic platform for SAARC nations to jointly combat coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
New Delhi: Top health professionals representing India at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) video conference on Thursday (March 26,2020) proposed a shared electronic platform for all member nations to share and exchange information, knowledge, expertise and best practices for jointly combating the coronavirus epidemic.
The Indian side aslo gave a solution that until the platform is developed the Health Services experts of SAARC countries may set up on email and whatsapp to enable exchange of all relevant information between the SAARC countries on real time basis.
It was informed that considerable work has already gone into the creation of the platform, which could also serve as a multipurpose vehicle to further discussand conduct activities such as online training for emergency response personnel, knowledge partnerships, sharing of expertise in disease surveillance, including the corresponding software, and joint research for new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for epidemic diseases.
In the conference which was held at the level of Director General of Health Services (DGHS) a wide range of issues relating to Covid19were discussed extensively with active and purposeful participation of all sides.
India made a comprehensive presentation covering the aspects of disease surveillance, contact tracing, travel restrictions and evacuation, risk assessment, diagnostics, isolation and quarantine methods and facilities, clinical management of patients, treatment options and protocols and safety of healthcare providers.
Other SAARC also shared their measures and experiences of dealing with the Covid19 challenge. All countries also highlighted their specific vulnerabilities, capacities, best practices, gaps in resources and logistics, private sector participation as well as levels of preparedness.
Community engagement and participation was identified as an important element in any anti-Covid19 strategy to augment the large scale emergency measures undertaken by the governments in the SAARC region.
The Ministry of External Affairs said, ”The enthusiastic and constructive participation by all SAARC member states demonstrated the shared commitment to work together to defeat the challenge posed by the coronavirus epidemic in the region.”
On March 15, SAARC nations had a joint meeting via video conferencing to discuss joint strategy to fight coronavirus.