Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to bring together the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations to combat coronavirus. He termed the move as "humane and far-sighted step," which will serve as an example to the world.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, Pradhan stated that the steps taken by the Prime Minister indicate India's seriousness towards containing the viral outbreak.
This humane and far-sighted step taken by PM @narendramodi ji not only indicates India’s seriousness towards containing the viral outbreak, which recognizes no border, but also the deep bonds of amity that India shares with the subcontinent.#SAARCfightsCorona pic.twitter.com/tmBWv8ouDq— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) March 15, 2020
Adding further to his statement he said, "I am confident that through this initiative of combined efforts of our medical professionals and researchers, we will be able to contain, reduce and eventually mitigate the effect of COVID-19 in the southeast Asian subcontinent. True to the Indian tradition of selfless service, Prime Minister Modi declared the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund and contributed US dollar 10 million to this fund."
He also spoke about PM's call for practices to prepare for future challenges and the creation of a common research platform for epidemic diseases within the south Asian region.
Hon. PM also called for developing best practises to prepare for future challenges and the creation of a common research platform for epidemic diseases within the south Asian region. This shows the mettle of a true visionary leader for facing a common humanitarian challenge.— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) March 15, 2020
"It is not just our neighbours comprising the SAARC nations but Prime Minister Modi has also proposed a link-up between the G-20 leaders to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus as well," the Union Minister added.
The Prime Minister addressed a SAARC video conference to share each other's 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'. As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has risen to 152, with two deaths in the country.
(With inputs from ANI)