- ISPR says Gates appreciated Pakistan's success against coronavirus despite constraint of resources
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed his appreciation to the Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage, a development that comes as the country reported its second case just this month.
In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Microsoft co-founder Gates and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed Pakistan's commitment to polio eradication and the COVID-19 situation in a telephone call on Friday.
The statement said Gates appreciated Pakistan's success against coronavirus despite constraint of resources, Radio Pakistan reported.
The COAS attributed the success to a "true national response", executed "through the mechanism of National Command and Operation Centre which allowed optimization of resources".
The army chief appreciated Gates' efforts toward polio eradication and the coronavirus response and assured him of continued cooperation.
On Friday, the country reported a second polio case in less than 10 days. Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad said that the victim is a two-year-old girl from North Waziristan.
Last week, authorities had detected the country's first case of polio in 15 months, also in North Waziristan. Health officials announced the discovery of the wild polio case on Friday, saying a 15-month-old boy had been paralysed by the virus.
The two cases in North Waziristan now take the global number of polio cases in 2022 to four, with a case also confirmed in Malawi and another in Afghanistan, according to data from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).