Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have vowed to strengthen information sharing and coordination of policies and actions to cope with the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The five countries agreed that the autumn and winter seasons were a ‘crucial period’ for COVID-19 containment.
The Chinese side said they were ready to step up cooperation with the other four parties in testing, diagnostics, treatment and medicine, and continue to provide them with assistance of containment supplies, according to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
China has pledged that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, would be made a global public property.
China says it is also ready to consider providing vaccines to developing countries positively, including the four countries.
On November 5, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Serum Institute of India and Beximco Pharma of Bangladesh for priority delivery of 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh.
To jointly defeat COVID-19, protect people’s life, safety and health, and accelerate economic and social recovery and development, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka held a vice-ministerial-level video conference on COVID-19 response on November 10, according to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a spirit of mutual trust, openness and win-win cooperation, the five countries welcome other regional countries to join the cooperation against COVID-19 and are ready to engage in dialogue and communication with them, it said.
The five countries had ‘in-depth exchanges’ on cementing the political consensus on jointly fighting COVID-19, enhancing cooperation on containing the coronavirus and restoring economic development and movement of people, and achieved positive results.
They agreed that humanity lives in a community with a shared future and solidarity and cooperation is the most effective weapon against COVID-19.
In the context of long-term COVID-19 containment, the five countries will uphold multilateralism, firmly support the World Health Organisation in playing a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19, actively promote international cooperation on COVID-19 response, and push forward the building of a global community of health for all, said the statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry.
The five countries reiterated their opposition to politicisation and stigmatisation by using COVID-19.
It is important to pursue science-based, professional exchanges on prevention and control of COVID-19 and its evolution and growth should be judged on the basis of objectivity, impartiality and scientific evidence, the statement reads.
The five countries agreed that countries linked by land ports should establish joint response mechanisms in border areas, said the Chinese MoFA.
Standard operating procedures will be developed on COVID-19-related notification, border control, containment measures at points of entry and emergency response to prevent cross-border transmission.
Pre-departure screening will be actively promoted to ensure the safe and orderly cross-border movement of people.
Each Party will provide necessary treatment to COVID-19 infected nationals of the other parties in accordance with its own capacity.
The five countries agreed on the importance of coordinating COVID-19 response and economic and social development and will advance Belt and Road cooperation to boost post-COVID-19 economic recovery and development.
China said efforts would be made to facilitate the orderly resumption of major cooperation projects and keep the industrial and supply chains stable.
Infrastructure connectivity under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative would be advanced at a faster pace, it said.
Smooth transportation of goods at border ports will be facilitated with sufficient containment measures in place.
The five countries agreed to keep up consultations on COVID-19 response, poverty alleviation and other non-traditional security issues of shared interest on an ad hoc basis, and explore the establishment of relevant working groups.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Foreign affairs