Pakistan will dispatch three planes full of Covid-19 relief goods to the Republic of Iraq on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The first consignment was dispatched on Saturday in presence of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt-General Akhtar Nawaz, senior officials of the foreign ministry and Ambassador of Iraq to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta.
The next two consignments will be sent in the coming week, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Chaudhri said in a statement.
Pakistan and Iraq have long-standing fraternal ties rooted firmly in shared faith and values. The two countries have multifaceted relationship, marked by regular high-level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse fields, the spokesperson maintained.
He viewed that the Covid-19 pandemic was a global challenge, which could only be contained with international solidarity and cooperation.
The government and people of Pakistan stood by their Iraqi brethren in this difficult time, he added.
Pakistan’s strategy to tackle the global pandemic has been lauded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as other global forums.
In September, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appreciated Pakistan which, according to him, not only stemmed the spread of the virus but also allowed the country’s economy to recover amid the pandemic.
Tedros said Pakistan deployed the infrastructure built up over many years for polio to combat Covid-19.
“Community health workers who have been trained to go door-to-door vaccinating children against polio have been redeployed and utilised for surveillance, contact-tracing and care,” he added.
The global health body chief said the strategy suppressed the virus which led to the revival of the economy.
Bill Gates, American business magnate and philanthropist, had also lauded Pakistan’s efforts in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The country had successfully tackled the first and second waves of Covid-19 and now was facing the third wave with cases on the rise in Punjab and federal capital Islamabad among some other parts.