Iran calls for more regional cooperation against COVID-19
Iran's health minister proposed on Tuesday to extend the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Eastern Mediterranean cooperation program against COVID-19 to more countries in West Asia, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki made the proposal in an online meeting with the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director Ahmed Al-Mandhari, and the health ministers of the Eastern Mediterranean region's countries, on the subject of the region's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The program under which Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are cooperating under the WHO's supervision should be extended to different countries in the region," Namaki was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
He suggested the WHO should "improve its presence by reinforcing and creating managerial capacity to support member states."
The framework of Iran's proposal has three parts, the first being increasing awareness about the existing risk and the need for public cooperation to prevent and control the infection, the Iranian minister explained.
The second and third are providing universal coverage for basic care related to COVID-19, and the respect of the countries' national sovereignty and security concerns, Namaki added.
In a mid-July assessment, Al-Mandhari warned the situation in the region remained "alarming" with COVID-19 cases and deaths increasing at the time.