ISLAMABAD             -             Pakistan on Monday called for joint efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member countries against the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned Secretary General OIC Dr Yousef Bin Ahmad Bin Al-Othaimeen to discuss the issue. Qureshi called for joint efforts of OIC countries to tackle Corona pandemic challenge. The FM discussed the steps taken by the OIC to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the critical situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the context of this challenge. The OIC had earlier urged its member states to be transparent in their efforts to curb the novel coronavirus. “OIC General Secretariat urged all Member States to be more transparent and cooperative,” the OIC had said.

The organization said it “welcomed the efforts” made by members to contain the COVID-19 disease and “prevent its spread.”

The coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has since spread across the globe. The global death toll has surpassed 3,300 with more than 98,000 cases, according to the World Health Organization. Qureshi welcomed the OIC Secretary-General’s recent statement regarding the finding of a solution to this pandemic challenge by research institutions and scientists.

Meanwhile yesterday, Foreign Minister Qureshi held a meeting here with UN Resident Coordinator Julien Frederic Morcom-Harneis. During the meeting, Qureshi said Pakistan was taking effective steps to tackle the coronavirus challenge despite its limited resources.

The Foreign Minister said coronavirus had become a major threat to the world but developing countries like Pakistan were facing severe economic difficulties in tackling this global pandemic. The UN Resident Coordinator assured full support to Pakistan in developing comprehensive strategies to combat the coronavirus, said an official statement.

The strategy, he said, will be aimed to effectively monitor the implementation of financial support from the global community to combat the coronavirus outbreak.