India reaches out to Saarc with rapid response teams, platform for health info exchange

India and other Saarc nations will soon hold a video conference of trade officials to study the likely impact of covid-19 on intraregional trade, official sources said. India is also looking to quickly launch an information exchange platform (IEP) to facilitate real time exchanges among health professionals of Saarc countries.
Following the Saarc leadersvideo conference, India pledged $10 million to the Covid-19 Emergency SAARC fund. Apart from Pakistan, all other countries have contributed to the fund. India has also kept on standby rapid response teams comprising doctors with testing equipment, under department of military affairs, for its Saarc neighbours. One such team has already visited the Maldives.
The trade video conference will be handled by the commerce ministry and is likely to be held in early April. The government sees the upcoming IEP also as a major deliverable from Saarc leadersconference.
The platform created by India will be for use of all SAARC countries and aimed at bringing health professionals of SAARC countries closer together in real time.
In the spirit of India's commitment to SAARC solidarity in combating Covid-19, officials here said, the IEP is aimed at comprehensively covering the aspects of disease surveillance, contact tracing, travel restrictions and evacuation, risk assessment, diagnostics, isolation and quarantine methods and facilities, clinical management of patients, treatment options and protocols and safety of healthcare providers.
"It also seeks to serve as a multipurpose vehicle to further discuss and conduct activities such as online training for emergency response personnel, knowledge partnerships, sharing of expertise in disease surveillance, including the corresponding software, and joint research for new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for epidemic diseases," said a source.
In the mean time, a dialogue among doctors of participating countries on Read More – Source


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