A composite image showing PM Narendra Modi and leaders from the SAARC nations during a video conference on Covid-19 on 15 March | Photo: ANI
File photo| PM Narendra Modi and leaders from SAARC nations during a video conference on Covid-19 on 15 March | ANI
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Islamabad: Pakistan is set to host the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) video conference on Thursday to deliberate on the coronavirus pandemic.
“As proposed by Pakistan, a video conference of SAARC member states is being held on April 23, 2020, to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

In addition to exchanging updates on the status of national containment efforts, the conference will deliberate on ways to promote deeper cooperation to combat the crisis, including through strengthening disease surveillance, sharing best practices, building national capacities, coordinating research efforts and promoting regional and international linkages,” it said.

“High population densities and fragile health systems render South Asia, which is home to one-fifth of humanity, vulnerable to the pandemic,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is forging cooperation and collaboration among SAARC countries to fight COVID-19, which has killed over 182,000 people and infected over 2.5 million globally.

India has also sent specialists and testing equipment, medical supplies as well as shared best practices of healthcare professionals with its neighbours.
On March 15, Modi held a video conference with SAARC leaders where he initiated a COVID-19 emergency fund for the regional block with an initial offer of USD 10 million for the fund.

Later, Pakistan joined Modi’s initiative and pledged USD 3 million to the fund.


Also read: Had China not been so strict about Wuhan, coronavirus would have stayed in Wuhan


 

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