Amid the raging Coronavirus crisis, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced e-training programmes for healthcare professionals in SAARC countries. The initiative is a result of Prime Minister Modi's 'prepare not panic' message. The training programmes will be conducted by the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) committee commencing April 17.
As a part of the cooperation, India has offered several initiatives like COVID-19 fund by member countries, rapid response teams of doctors, online training sessions and video conferences.
Taking forward @PMOIndia's vision on #PrepareNotPanic for #SAARCfightsCoronoa, @MEAIndia announces e-@ITECnetwork training programmes on #COVID19 for healthcare professionals for @SAARCsec countries starting Apr 17, 2020.— ITEC (@ITECnetwork) April 14, 2020
Registration and details: https://t.co/IPHCVixWKe pic.twitter.com/prPgDqYuuB
Prime Minister Modi on March 15 in a video conference on forming a collective front combat fight Covid-19, proposed the emergency fund and asserted that the best way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic was by coming together, and not growing apart. Subsequently, Nepal and Afghanistan pledged $1 million each, Maldives committed $ 200,000, Bhutan $100,000, Bangladesh $1.5 million and Sri Lanka pledged $5 million to the fund. Founded in 1985, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation and geopolitical union of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
In a video conference, trade officials of the SAARC countries mutually agreed to work on new ways to "sustain and expand" the intra-regional trade to offset the huge economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic. The officials also deliberated on creating a larger framework of trade facilitation and highlighted the need to enhance the quantum of intra-SAARC trade as the pandemic is likely to have a considerable impact on the region, the Ministry of External Affairs said. The deliberations took place as a follow up to an India-initiated video conference of SAARC leaders on March 15.