India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin on Sunday spoke to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on a special broadcast as India observed 'Janta Curfew' to reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Speaking about how the world is looking at India as a part of the global battle against COVID-19, he said, "It's a crisis none of us has been through in our lives. It's a public health crisis and it's also a social health crisis. It's an economic crisis and it's a crisis of global cooperation also. There are different aspects. Obviously all states, including our own government and Prime Minister are engaged in addressing, first -- the public health aspect and as you know, India is working beyond that too."
He added, "Prime Minister Modi was amongst the first global leaders to engage the region. Subsequently, it is understood that there will be a video conference of the G20 of which India is an integral part. We must acknowledge that global cooperation in this instance has not succeeded because it depends on global public goods which is transmission of information. We will have to address this crisis at a later stage but right now we should be focused on all efforts to ensure that the public health of our people is the primary concern. Economic issues are the primary concerns and social dislocation and disruption should be addressed. In all those areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our government are taking the lead."
Speaking about the Coronavirus pandemic and the role of international forums like SAARC, G7 etc in battling the disease, he said, "It's clearly going to have a global impact because it is a trans-boundary issue. This is not an issue which is confined to any one state or any one nation. Those who stand up address their issues and work for global good will be those who will come out of this successfully."
India's envoy added, "Most countries are addressing it at an international level and that's the right way to do it because global cooperation we noticed some months ago did not yield the results it should have been. We have to address that but that's at a later stage. Standing far away from Indian shores, I feel very proud as an Indian that the efforts taken to unite a country, to promote a message are all being given such importance."
"Under this Janta curfew, no one should leave their home or gather in their neighbourhoods. Only those related to essential services should go out," PM Modi said in his address to the nation on Thursday. There are 360 active coronavirus cases in the country, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Sunday. The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in India has gone up to seven with three fatalities being reported in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar.