Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz held a video-link meeting with Pakistani Diaspora in Saudi Arabia on 27 May 2020. The meeting was attended by 35 participants from different professions including doctors, engineers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and representatives from different Pakistani organizations. The purpose of meeting was to interact and discuss, with Pakistani community, the issues relating to pandemic, welfare, relief and early repatriation in the wake of COVID-19.
In addition, views and recommendations of the community members were also invited with a view to devise an effective welfare strategy. Opening the session, the Ambassador requested for observing silence on the sad demise of our nationals in the Kingdom due to COVID-19 and those who had died in the PIA plane crash. He apprised the community members about welfare activities undertaken by the Embassy and difficulties commonly faced by our diaspora. He shared that reportedly 2,500 Pakistanis have contracted Corona. Though most of them have recovered but, fewer than 100 have died during this pandemic.
Care and social distancing seems to be the only practical solution. Dr Asad Roomi & Dr Farhan Salik from PDGR briefed current scenario of this pandemic and guided about the symptoms when contacting Health facility should become necessary. They shared that primary health care centres can also treat the disease at initial stage followed by self isolation. The extensive question, answers and suggestions session relating to diseases, provision of government health facilities, procedure to access and avail the facilities, Health education of community members living in concentration, transportation of non-COVID dead bodies and stress on local burial followed. It was hoped that current peak in corona cases will decline and life will revert to normalcy soon. Most of the community members requested the government for devising an effective strategy to ensure timely and safe return of stranded Pakistanis, particularly, with medical emergencies, expiring visit visas, final exit visas and laid – off employees, etc. At the end of meeting, the Ambassador thanked the participants for their candid views and valuable suggestions. He reiterated the commitment of the Mission to provide immediate relief to all stranded Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia and regular liaison with the community.