First International day of Epidemic Preparedness

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DNA

ISLAMABAD, DEC 27 – On the first International day of Epidemic Preparedness, commemorated today, Pakistan expresses its firm resolve to strengthen national mechanisms and capacities, as well as global partnerships for robust health systems, to prevent and respond to all diseases and epidemics.

This day also reminds us of the importance of reducing poverty, inequality and of achieving sustainable development for all, by targeted interventions and investments in health, education, environment and water and sanitation, with a view to combating all diseases and epidemics, including the ongoing COVID pandemic.

As a country of 200 million people, Pakistan’s state and society have shown tremendous resilience against myriad of health challenges and pandemics.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan’s comprehensive national response to the COVID pandemic is characterized by efficient and seamless coordination among all stakeholders through National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), pragmatic policy of smart lockdowns and effective healthcare management through the ‘Pakistan Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19’.

Various streams of the Ehsas Programme are providing social safety nets against the ravages of the pandemic to the poor and the most vulnerable.

These measures constitute important elements of lessons learnt by the country to combat future epidemics.

The ongoing COVID pandemic has underscored the importance of strengthening and leveraging international cooperation as well as multilateralism.

Pakistan stresses the significance of partnership and solidarity among State, regional and international organizations in all stages of epidemic management and its associated socio economic challenges.

In this regard, the needs of developing countries should be prioritized in terms of equitable distribution of vaccines and medicines and building their fiscal space to combat the pandemics, including through debt relief. The World Health Organization also requires political and financial support to enable it to enhance its capability for early identification, better coordination and prevention of diseases and epidemics.

On this first International day of Epidemic Preparedness, Pakistan stands ready to contribute to all such endeavors and initiatives at relevant UN and WHO platforms.