PM stresses on need for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called upon the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to devise a joint strategy to ensure an equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine for the public good.

In his address to the virtual 14th ECO Summit themed ‘Regional Economic Cooperation in the aftermath of COVID-19’, the Prime Minister stressed the need for mobilizing resources of ECO countries to fight the pandemic COVID-19 effectively.

Prime Minister Khan opened the summit in Pakistan’s capacity as the chair of the 13th Summit held in Islamabad and lauded Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current chair, for his timely initiative amidst the COVID-29 scenario.

The Prime Minister said since the COVID-19 pandemic was still not over, there must be a collective effort for production of vaccine on an affordable rate and be declared as public good.

“No one will be safe from virus unless everyone is safe,” he said, adding that Pakistan had launched the COVID-19 inoculation with frontline workers on priority.

He mentioned that the ECO members states were severely affected by the health, economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19 pandemic with over 150 million people hit by the virus and over 2.5 million lost their lives.

He said the developing countries including ECO members countries had been disproportionately affected with economy declined and poverty increased.

Imran Khan said Pakistan faced challenges during the pandemic, however adopted a people and poor-centric approach to balance saving of lives and livelihoods.

Despite the financial constraints, he said, his government allocated an unprecedented $8 billion to the poorest and most vulnerable households through small businesses and direct handouts. 

 

(Details provided by our correspondent Umar Javaid Jutt)