As a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call upon SAARC nations to jointly combat coronavirus, India on Wednesday announced the launch of two training programmes on the management of the pandemic for healthcare professionals from member-nations of the grouping starting from 17 April.
The training will be imparted under the External Affairs Ministry’s prestigious Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
“Taking forward @PMOIndia’s vision on PrepareNotPanic for SAARCfightsCorona, @MEAIndia announces [email protected] training programmes on COVID19 for healthcare professionals for SAARC countries starting April 17, 2020,” a tweet by ITEC network said.
Taking forward @PMOIndia‘s vision on #PrepareNotPanic for #SAARCfightsCoronoa, @MEAIndia announces e-@ITECnetwork training programmes on #COVID19 for healthcare professionals for @SAARCsec countries starting Apr 17, 2020.
Registration and details: https://t.co/IPHCVixWKe pic.twitter.com/prPgDqYuuB
— ITEC (@ITECnetwork) April 14, 2020
The first five-day programme is to be conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Raipur from 17 April while the second programme will be conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, from 27 April.
While the participation of healthcare professionals from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives in the two-programmes is almost certain, it is to be seen if Pakistan will also join the deliberations, given the fact that the initiative has been taken by India.
At a video conference with SAARC leaders on 15 March, Prime Minister Modi had suggested that healthcare professionals of the SAARC nations could come together to jointly fight coronavirus.
India has already proposed setting up of a common electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise and best practices to jointly combat the pandemic.
India is initiating a series of other measures to help the SAARC countries to contain the pandemic in the region. All the SAARC member nations are currently under the grip of the pandemic that has caused immense hardships for their people and badly hit their economies.
The trade officials of the SAARC countries last week broadly agreed to identify new ways to “sustain and expand” the intra-regional trade to offset the economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic.