The 5th meeting of the SCO health ministers held in Tashkent on June 8, 2022

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Uzbekistan’s Dunyo news agency says the meeting was held in a hybrid format under the chairmanship of Uzbekistan.

The Minister of Health of Uzbekistan Behzod Musayev and SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.

The meeting was also attended by Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India Rajesh Bhushan, First Deputy Minister of Health of Kazakhstan Marat Shoranov, Chairman of the National Health Commission of China Ma Xiaowei, Acting Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan Zharkynbek Kasymbekov, Special Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Regulation and Coordination of Pakistan Iftikhar Ali Shalvani, Minister of Health of Russia Mikhail Murashko and Minister of Health of Tajikistan Jamoliddin Abdullozoda.

The meeting participants reportedly discussed the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in the SCO member states, as well as prospects for international cooperation in these areas, including expanding scientific and technical cooperation in developing drugs, vaccines and test systems.

Meanwhile, the SCO’s official website says the meeting also approved a draft roadmap on the concept of cooperation in the field of telemedicine.

The SCO member nations reportedly agreed to join efforts to improve the skills of specialists in the field of telemedicine technologies application, folk medicine, pharmaceutical and sanitary-epidemiological services.

The previous meeting took place in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on June 30, 2021.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Besides, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states.

It is to be noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran came one step closer to becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 17 last year with the approval of its bid, 15 years after it first applied.On September 17m 2021, the SCO launched the procedures of Iran's accession to the SCO, which are expected to take "a fair amount of time".Thus, it took two years for India and Pakistan to complete the accession procedures.

SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.ACEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances.

Source: Asia-Plus