In the later part of March 2020, Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi made contacts with COMSATS’ focal ministries in China and Iran, two of the earliest and most COVID-19 affected member states of COMSATS member states, expressing sympathies and pledging to stand with the people and governments of the two countries. He also thanked the authorities of the two countries for taking effective measures for combating and containing the virus.
In response, H.E. Wang Zhigang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, thanked the Executive Director COMSATS for offering COMSATS’ support to the Chinese government in the fight against COVID-19 outbreak. He informed that the Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to contain the outbreak, and as a result of united efforts the situation improved. He stated that China would continue to work with other stakeholders to build an effective response against the epidemic and uphold regional and global public health security, harnessing the power of science, technology and innovation. The Minister stated that as a member of COMSATS, China has strengthened cooperation with other members for the sharing of human and technological resources. In this regard, two Chinese centres that are affiliated with COMSATS as Centres of Excellence, the International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES) and the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), have played a key role. The Minister also looked forward to COMSATS’ participation in China’s Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Action Plan.
The Iranian Minister for Science, Research and Technology, H.E. Mansour Gholami, thanked the Executive Director COMSATS for his sentiment and informed that Iran has taken all necessary measures to combat the disease. From the platform of COMSATS, the Minister offered to collaborate with other member countries for finding solutions to such threats. The Iranian Research Organization for Science & Technology (IROST), affiliated with COMSATS as a Centre of Excellence, has been actively participating in the programmes and activities of COMSATS.
China and Iran are active members of COMSATS and have been collaborating in terms of organizing joint capacity building events, offering postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and executing joint research and development projects.