ISLAMABAD            -          Pakistan will  host Video Conference

of SAARC Member States on Covid-19 today.A Foreign Ministry statement issued here yesterday said the conference would discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr. Zafar Mirza

will lead the Pakistan delegation.

Besides ministers/ senior officials,

the meeting will be attended by Secretary General SAARC,   Esala Ruwan Weerakon.”The virtual meeting takes forward

Pakistan’s earlier initiative to host the SAARC Health Ministers

meeting, which has assumed urgency in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to exchanging updates

on the status of national containment efforts, the conference

will deliberate on ways to promote deeper cooperation to combat the crisis, including inter alia through strengthening disease

surveillance, sharing best practices, building national capacities,

coordinating research efforts and promoting regional and international

linkages.High population densities and fragile health systems render South Asia, which is home to one-fifth of humanity, vulnerable to the pandemic.Closer coordination among regional

countries through utilization

of all available institutional

mechanisms, including the SAARC platform, remains important

for combating the disease, said the  statement.The Video Conference is part of Pakistan’s efforts to foster greater

cooperation at the regional level to effectively overcome the public health crisis, and