India yesterday donated its second tranche of emergency medical supplies -- 1,00,000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets and 50,000 sterile surgical latex gloves -- to Bangladesh

Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das handed over the supplies to the officials concerned of the Central Medical Stores Depot.

On March 25, India donated 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 head-covers to Bangladesh.

The assistance is being given under the Saarc Covid-19 Emergency Fund, created following a video conference among the leaders of Saarc countries on March 15 initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India has made an initial contribution of $10 million, while Bangladesh announced a contribution of $1.5 million; Afghanistan and Nepal pledged $1 million each; Sri Lanka $5 million; the Maldives and Bhutan pledged $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. After holding out for some time, Pakistan early this month pledged a contribution of $3 million to the fund.

In a statement, Riva Ganguly said the assistance is part of India's "Neighborhood First" policy and with a view to taking a collaborative regional approach to containing the spread of Covid-19.

She said separate video conferences between health experts and trade representatives of the Saarc nations were held to discuss specific measures, trade facilitation and exchange of best practices. Health officials from Saarc nations are in constant touch to share best practices and to benefit from each other.

Further, Indian healthcare experts have designed e-ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) training modules for Saarc nations in the form of short live webinars for health care professionals on Covid-19 management strategies, capacity building, knowledge sharing on best practices and related aspects.

The first such online course was conducted on April 17-21 by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur in which over 90 health professionals from Bangladesh participated.

A second online course is being organised by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India from April 26 to May 6 under ITEC initiative.