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PM Modi ahead of SAARC video conference: 'Timely action for healthier planet'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 15 March 2020, 11:15 IST

“Our coming together will lead to effective outcomes,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated ahead of his video conference with other SAARC countries to come up with a joint strategy to battle the novel coronavirus outbreak that has claimed over 5,000 lives across the globe and infected 1.3 lakh others.

The video conference comes two days after PM Modi suggested that SAARC leaders should join hands to fight the pandemic.

"Timely action for a healthier planet. Tomorrow (Sunday) at 5 PM, leaders of SAARC nations will discuss, via conferencing, a roadmap to fight the challenge of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus," PM Modi tweeted last night.

"I am confident that our coming together will lead to effective outcomes and benefit our citizens," he said.

Also Read: Pakistan to participate in video conference of SAARC countries after PM Modi suggests joint coronavirus strategy

On Friday, PM Modi in a tweet had written that the leaders can discuss through video conferencing ways to keep 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," PM Modi had tweeted.

South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population, should try every possible course to ensure that the people are healthy, PM Modi wrote in another tweet.

PM Modi’s call was well received by member nations, with Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson tweeting on Saturday to acknowledge the need for "coordinated efforts at global and regional level(s)".

The Bhutanese Prime Minster and Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa were among those who thanked PM Modi for the approach.

"Come together for (the) common good! 15 March, 1700 IST. PM Narendra Modi will lead India at the video conference call of all SAARC member countries, to chalk out a strong common strategy to fight COVID-19 in the region," Raveesh Kumar, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, tweeted on Saturday evening.

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India has reported over 90 confirmed cases and according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are 126 cases in SAARC region.


First published: 15 March 2020, 11:15 IST