PM Modi proposes SAARC leaders’ meet on coronavirus via video conference – india news

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the leadership of SAARC nations should chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus and South Asia “should leave no stone unturned to ensure our people are healthy.”

“Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it. South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population should leave no stone unturned to ensure our people are healthy,” he said in a series of tweets.

 

The PM also suggested the leaders could discuss, via video conferencing. ways to “keep our citizens healthy”.

“I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy. Together, we can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet.”

 

Prime Minister Modi’s proposal for SAARC came a day after India reported its first death from coronavirus and the number of new cases continue to be on the rise. The country has recorded 75 cases so far. Delhi and Haryana have declared COVID-19 an epidemic and many state governments have taken measures ranging from closing educational institutions, banning public events and sports tournaments to contain the spread of the disease.

A day earlier, PM Modi had said that no central government minister will travel abroad in the coming days.

“Say No to Panic, Say Yes to Precautions. No Minister of the Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings,” PM Modi tweeted on Thursday.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh has postponed the March 17 grand inaugural ceremony of the birth centenary celebrations of its founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after three coronavirus cases were detected in the country. PM Modi visit to Dhaka to participate in the event was postponed and he will now join the celebrations through video conference.

Covid-19 has claimed over 4,600 lives and infected more than 125,048 people across 118 countries and territories since it originated in China late in December last year.



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