It would make little sense to hoard a vaccine that could save lives
It is good to see that Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have agreed to fortify existing information sharing measures and increase coordination of policies to deal with what the countries called a “crucial period” for containing the pandemic.
The decision to jointly combat this global health disaster is a commendable and timely step in the right direction.
Anxiety surrounding the distribution of a vaccine once it is approved has been fairly widespread, and so it is encouraging to see the five countries denounce politicization and stigmatization perpetrated using Covid-19. When the virus has already spread across the world causing untold damage, it would make little sense to hoard a vaccine that could save lives, which could number in the hundreds of thousands. China has pledged to make the vaccine, once available, a public good, and is also ready to consider distributing it to the four aforementioned nations.
Aside from the vaccine, it is also essential to maximize cross-border knowledge-sharing when it comes to any information or development regarding coronavirus, especially in the upcoming months when the second wave is expected to strike.
Amid the current rise in ultra-nationalist sentiments worldwide, it is certainly assuring to see these countries pledge to uphold multilateralism and actively promote international cooperation, particularly in the face of a crisis as severe as the ongoing pandemic.
We can only get through this crisis by working together and, as the countries agreed, by realizing that our future is a shared one, and that solidarity is the most effective way forward.