BJP leader and former Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to start a geopolitical discussion to fight the coronavirus by organizing the SAARC web conference on Sunday. He praised PM Modi's efforts to stay vigilant and to not panic.
Speaking to ANI, Sharma said, "This disease is not of a country or of a region. The whole world is like a global village. I am confident that with this initiative taken by the Prime Minister, the results will also come...There was a need for such an initiative. Every system has financial requirements. The economy of the whole world is somehow getting affected due to coronavirus. There are big countries and small countries. For them, there is a need for an international fund. He (the Prime Minister ) has also assured the Chief Ministers of all the states that the central government is standing with them and there will be no shortage of funds.
In his opening address, Prime Minister Modi said the South Asian region has reported less than 150 Coronavirus cases, but "we need to remain vigilant". "Prepare, but don't panic" has been India's guiding mantra in dealing with Coronavirus outbreak, he said.
"We started screening people entering India from mid-January itself, while gradually increasing restrictions on travel... The step-by-step approach helped avoid panic and India made special efforts to reach out to vulnerable groups," he said. The PM even highlighted India's efforts to repatriate nearly 1,400 of its nationals from countries severely hit by the Coronavirus outbreak like Iran and China.
The Prime Minister addressed a SAARC video conference to share each other efforts and issues as the seven countries battle the pandemic. The video conference was led by PM Modi and was attended by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Maldives President Ibrahim Solih, Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's assistant - Dr Zafar Mirza. PM Modi highlighted the SAARC's ancient ties and said that 'we must work and succeed together'.
112 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in India till Sunday evening with two reported deaths.
Globally, around 6,000 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicenter now shifting from China to Europe. The virus has infected over 1,50,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, New Zealand, and more than 100 other countries.