FILE PHOTO: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
BANGLADESH prime minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed that an institution be established to prevent and fight any public health threat in the South Asian region in future.
“We believe it’s extremely important to establish an institution to prevent and fight against any public health threat in the South Asian region in future Bangladesh will be happy to host such institution if you all kindly agree,” she said joining a videoconference of the Saarc nations from her official residence Ganobhaban.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak across the world, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the initiative to arrange the videoconference of all the Saarc nations to chalk out a joint strategy to tackle Covid-19 in this South Asia region.
Alongside Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza also joined the videoconference to represent their respective nations.
Sheikh Hasina said all the Saarc countries need to cooperate and collaborate closely to fight this Covid-19 pandemic. We need to forge collaboration through our collective capacity, expertise and resources, she said.
She said Bangladesh is ready to share its capacity and expertise as well as the best practices with the Saarc countries, including logistic support, if required.
To continue this dialogue at the technical level, our (Saarc) health ministers, health secretaries and relevant health experts can also have this kind of videoconferences to discuss specific areas of cooperation, the Bangladesh Prime Minister proposed, saying WHO South-East Asia Regional Director may be invited to these video conferences.
We need to devise a strong Saarc-wise strategy to fight this public health threat and protect our citizens, she said.
Highlighting steps taken by Bangladesh to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh successfully prevented the entry of the virus through strong surveillance and rigorous checks-up at all international airports, seaports and land ports.
As of now, Bangladesh had only three Covid-19 imported cases. They have already recovered. There are two new imported cases from Europe, she said. We have no local or community transmission of any Covid-19 case, she said.