The Embassy of Pakistan and the Consulates General at New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston have been working closely with the Pakistani American community in the effort to combat COVID-19 outbreak.
During this difficult time, Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Dr. Asad M. Khan has been in regular contact with leading community organizations, particularly Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) to mobilize funds and raise awareness in Pakistani-American community. Ambassador Khan held a video conference and also delivered opening remarks in a “Community Awareness Webinar” organized by APPNA. He apprised members of APPNA about shortage of essential medical supplies including life-saving equipment, screening kits and protective gears in Pakistan. He lauded the role of Pakistani-American physicians who are working on the front lines during the current crisis and encouraged them to donate in cash and kind for the Coronavirus affectees both in the US as well as in Pakistan.
At present, APPNA’s Task Force on COVID-19 is working in collaboration with the Embassy and Consuls General to arrange much-needed medical items including protective medical clothing, ventilators and diagnostic kits for use in Pakistan.
Earlier, the Embassy had facilitated National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad in procurement of 05 Thermoscanner machines which were installed at major international airports in Pakistan by the end of February 2020. The timely installation of these machines was made possible with the active support of the Embassy and may have helped save many lives.
To facilitate passengers stranded at US airports due to closure of air traffic into Pakistan, the Embassy and Consulates General, under the direct supervision of Ambassador Dr. Asad M. Khan, are extending all possible assistance as needed. The community has also come forward and extended hospitality to many such individuals.
Through regular Twitter messages, Ambassador Khan has advised members of Pakistani-American community to stay safe and follow all preventive measures and local health advisories during COVID-19 emergency.
Furthermore, Embassy and Consulates General remain in close coordination with many community organizations including American Pakistan Foundation (APF), Organization of Pakistani American Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN), Pakistani American Society of Greater Houston (PAGH) etc as well as notable community members in their individual capacity who are providing cooked meals as well as dry food rations to the Pakistani American community affected by the lockdown as well as raising funds for relief efforts back in Pakistan.
The Embassy and Consulates General remain open for consular services despite lockdowns. Community members have been advised to use online consular services and only visit the Embassy and Consulates General if absolutely necessary. This is to ensure safety of the community members as well as our own staff. Community members have also been encouraged to follow our website and social media (Twitter account and Facebook page) for latest information.
Washington DC, 31 March 2020