Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and exchanged views on Covid-19 situation and efforts for polio eradication in the country.
Khan shared Pakistan’s policy to control and mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on health and economy and apprised Gates of the country’s coordinated efforts being implemented through ‘smart lockdowns’ aimed at saving people from dying from the virus and hunger.
Noting the surge in Covid cases, the prime minister underscored the government’s commitment to combat the second wave through firm actions. He, however, noted that presently, implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) was more challenging.
The prime minister acknowledged the Gates foundation’s continued support for the Ehsaas Programme, which would help the vulnerable segments of the country’s population to benefit from its expertise in health, nutrition and financial inclusion.
Khan commended the foundation’s strong advocacy for the provision of safe and effective Covid vaccines to developing countries.
He reaffirmed that eradication of polio remained a key priority of the government and thanked the Gates Foundation for its critical support in building the country’s emergency management capacity for eradication of the crippling disease.
The prime minister highlighted that anti-polio campaigns were being intensified across the country and added that his special aid on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and the team would continue to collaborate with Gates foundation for eradication of polio.
Gates acknowledged the country’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic while stimulating economic growth.
Khan and Gates agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives of eradicating polio and combating Covid.