During a telephonic conversation with Microsoft founder and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed the prevailing COVID-19 situation in Pakistan and how the government was dealing with it. The two also touched upon polio eradication efforts in the country.
According to a report by Dawn, the prime minister apprised the former Microsoft CEO about Pakistan’s strategy for containing the pandemic and mitigating its harmful effects on the nation’s health and economy. He brought up the “smart lockdown” strategy and how its implementation proved fruitful when it came to saving people from dying from either the infection or hunger.
The premier went on to highlight the government’s commitment to tackling the second wave of COVID-19 through similar interventions. However, he noted that the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) was more of a challenge this time.
The PM also took the opportunity to acknowledge the Foundation’s continual support for the Ehsaas Programme, which would enable the most vulnerable sections of the country’s population to benefit from its expertise in health, nutrition, and financial inclusion.
The premier reaffirmed that eradication of polio remained a key priority of the government. While thanking the Foundation for its critical support in building Pakistan’s emergency management capacity for polio eradication, he said that anti-polio campaigns were being intensified across the country. He said that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and his team would continue to collaborate with the Foundation for eradication of polio.
Mr. Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic while stimulating economic growth.
The two dignitaries agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives of eradicating polio and combating the Covid-19 pandemic.