Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed his gratitude to Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering for his decision to contribute $100,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund which the Indian Prime Minister had proposed to set up in his meeting with the SAARC nations on Sunday. Clarifying that any one of the seven nations could withdraw funds in the battle against the pandemic, PM Modi had pledged $10 million as India's contribution to the emergency fund.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that it is wonderful to see SAARC leaders taking initiatives that are adding to the collective fight against the novel coronavirus. So far, 223 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in the country while almost 266,175 infected cases have been reported in the world.
Gratitude to @PMBhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering for his decision to contribute $100,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund on behalf of the Bhutanese Government. It is wonderful to see SAARC leaders taking initiatives that are adding strength to the collective fight against Coronavirus.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 20, 2020
Noting the urgent need for collective efforts to combat the coronavirus crisis in South Asia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said the Bhutan government reassured its full support and cooperation to do everything possible in close collaboration with all SAARC nations to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcoming Prime Minister Modi's announcement of the creation of the emergency fund, the ministry said the Bhutan government "has decided to make an initial contribution of $100,000".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to implement a nationwide 'Janta Curfew' - a curfew by the people and for the people - on Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm to avoid mass gatherings in an attempt to contain the coronavirus spread. The Prime Minister stated that people should stay in their homes on March 22 while the Janta Curfew is implemented and avoid going out unless extremely important. PM Modi added that the Janta Curfew will help us prepare for the upcoming challenges.
Addressing the nation on Thursday, PM Modi said, "Today, I ask you all for your support to implement the Janata Curfew. Janata Curfew is a curfew of the people and by the people implemented by the people itself. This Sunday, that is after two days - March 22, morning 7 am to 9 pm in the night, all citizens should follow the Janta Curfew."