The minister claimed that "continued restrictions on communication and movement" in Kashmir "were preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials, as well as dissemination of information needed to combat the disease," the Foreign Office said.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with OIC Secretary General Yousef A Al-Othaimeen during which he discussed the situation in Kashmir and the world in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Foreign Office said in a statement that exchange between the two covered the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's responses, and developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister claimed that "continued restrictions on communication and movement" in Kashmir "were preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials, as well as dissemination of information needed to combat the disease," the FO said.
He also highlighted concerns regarding the possibility of spread of coronavirus among the large number of Kashmiri youth.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
On March 30, 11 fresh cases of the coronavirus were reported in Jammu and Kashmir, which include three from Jammu and eight from Kashmir, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to 49.
Qureshi also talked about the communal violence in New Delhi in February.
The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations, including Pakistan. The OIC has usually been supportive of Pakistan and often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5 and bifurcating it into two Union territories.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.
Qureshi said the pandemic posed a grave challenge to the entire humanity, including OIC member states.“The OIC, together with the Islamic Development Bank, needed to play an effective role in helping members cope with the challenges,” he added.