The neighbouring countries of India, including Pakistan, supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five proposals on the management of COVID-19.
Speaking during the virtual workshop on ''COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward'' held on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi suggested creating a special visa scheme for the "doctors and nurses, so that they can travel quickly within our region during health emergencies, on the request of the receiving country".Prime Minister Modi also asked whether our Civil Aviation ministries can coordinate a regional Air Ambulance agreement for medical contingencies. "He also suggested that we can create a regional platform for collating, compiling and studying data about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines among our populations. Furthermore, he asked, can we similarly create a regional network for promoting technology-assisted epidemiology, for preventing future pandemics?" according to an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The countries that participated in the workshop were -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and India.
During the workshop, the Prime Minister also suggested sharing successful public health policies and schemes.
He hailed the countries of South Asia and the Indian Ocean island countries for working together in combating COVID-19.
"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 said.
According to sources, the proposals suggested by the Prime Minister were supported by all countries including Pakistan.The countries proposed a structured discussion for regional cooperation on these proposals to take them forward, they further said.
All countries agreed that there was a need for such cooperation on a regional basis for fighting such pandemics.
During the workshop, the experts and officials of the ten countries, except Pakistan as it has not received vaccines, thanked India and Prime Minister Modi for assistance in coronavirus vaccines and other medicines, equipment and training, the sources informed.