RAWALPINDI : Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed the coronavirus situation and resumption of anti-polio campaign in the country with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on Saturday . Gates in his phone call conveyed his appreciation for the Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The Army Chief said it is a national cause and national effort for a polio-free Pakistan. “Credit goes to grassroots workers including mobile teams, law enforcement agencies and healthcare representatives,” the Army Chief was quoted as saying by the ISPR. The two also discussed the efforts needed to effectively conduct the polio campaign amidst the COVID-19 epidemic. “Gates also appreciated Pakistan’s success against COVID-19 despite resource constraints. COAS attributed the success to a true national response executed through the mechanism of NCOC which allowed optimisation of resources,” the military’s media wing said. It added, “Gates reiterated the Gates Foundation’s ongoing commitment to fight pandemics around the world and to support Pakistan in its goals of ending polio and improving health for every child.”A nationwide polio immunisation campaign was launched in the country on Thursday from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to vaccinate 34 million children under the age of five in 130 districts across the country. The campaign started in Punjab and Sindh on Saturday while it will start in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on August 17.The campaign will be conducted following the successful resumption of polio activities in July 2020 after a four-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.