PM stresses international cooperation in fight against virus

Updated March 29, 2020

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Prime Minister Imran Khan. — DawnNewsTV/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday emphasised international cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 as he wished speedy recovery to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, both of whom have contracted the novel coronavirus infection.

“I wish HRH Prince Charles @ClarenceHouse and PM @BorisJohnson speedy recovery, good health and long life. This deadly virus #Covid-19 has hit people beyond borders. We need an internationally coordinated response to counter it,” PM Khan tweeted with the hashtag #TogetherWeCan.

PM Johnson had tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, shortly after participating in the extraordinary G20 Summit held through video-conferencing to discuss ways for confronting the raging pandemic. Prince Charles had on Wednesday disclosed that he was infected with coronavirus.

Both British leaders were having mild symptoms and are currently in self-isolation. PM Johnson continues to work from home, while Prince Charles was self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland.

Britain has been badly hit by the surging infection. The death toll from the viral infection in the UK rose to 1,019 on Saturday, an increase of 260 over Friday marking the single day largest jump in the number of dead.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi earlier in the day spoke to British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Dominic Raab to discuss the global outbreak of coronavirus and prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation for tackling the pandemic.

Mr Qureshi expressed concern over the continuing communication blackout in India-held Kashmir, which was depriving 8 million Kashmiris of critical information and essential medical supplies needed to effectively contain the Covid-19 pandemic. He also reiterated the need to lift sanctions against Iran, enabling it to utilise its resources to save precious human lives.

The foreign minister highlighted that debt relief for developing countries, like Pakistan, would enable them to devote greater resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic fallout.

Mr Raab agreed that enhanced global cooperation is a key to combat the pandemic.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020