Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday to discuss the evolving COVID-19 scenario in the domestic and regional contexts and updated each other on the steps being taken to control the spread of the pandemic. In a tweet, PM Modi said both countries will address the challenges from the pandemic "in the spirit of our excellent bilateral ties" and in line with India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy.
Underlining the importance of Myanmar as a vital pillar of India's Neighbourhood First policy, Prime Minister Modi conveyed India's readiness to provide all possible support to Myanmar for mitigating the health and economic impact of COVID 19, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Had a good discussion with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We discussed the evolving COVID 19 scenario and agreed to work together to address the challenges in the spirit of our excellent bilateral ties and India's neighbourhood first policy.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 30, 2020
The Prime Minister assured all possible support by the government for Myanmar citizens present in India and thanked the State Counsellor for the cooperation being extended by Myanmar authorities to Indian citizens in Myanmar. Both leaders agreed to remain in touch and work together to address the present and future challenges posed by COVID-19, the MEA further said.
India has so far reported over 33,000 COVID-19 cases and has passed the 1,000-mark death toll. Myanmar, on the other hand, has reported just 150 cases and six deaths, as the testing rate in one of Asia's poorest country remains far too low.
The conversation with Myanmar's de facto leader is the latest in a host of exchanges PM Modi had with foreign leaders over the last few days. He has interacted with most national leaders of neighbouring countries. India has assured its friendly neighbours and other allies of cooperation and has continued assisting foreign nations in a show of solidarity amid the pandemic that has infected over 3 million people worldwide.
Recently, India contributed towards medical and food supplies to several smaller nations and has exported vast sums of most-sought drugs like Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol. PM Modi has consistently stayed in touch with many world leaders, especially of those countries' which host a significant Indian diaspora.