Imran Khan speaks to Bill Gates; discusses COVID-19

Imran Khan speaks to Bill Gates; discusses COVID-19

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Credit: Reuters Fie Photo

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and discussed the latest developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, his office said on Wednesday.

Pakistan's coronavirus cases have climbed to 15,348 while the death toll from the pandemic has reached 335.

During the telephonic conversation on Tuesday, Khan said that Pakistan was "making all efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with a robust and coordinated response".

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He emphasized that Pakistan was facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to lockdown.

"Steps taken by the government have helped in containing the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan,” he said, highlighting the lockdown and economic package announced by his government.

Gates, who is also co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Khan also discussed the important role that Pakistan's polio staff and infrastructure are playing in the fight against COVID-19.

The polio teams are supporting the training of frontline polio health workers on COVID-19, and using contact tracing, testing and communications methods to curb transmission.

Khan also appreciated the support provided by the Gates Foundation and other international partners during this unprecedented crisis.