Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed the formulation of a common strategy to tackle COVID-19(Coronavirus) in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region during the video conference with SAARC representatives. PM Modi has proposed the creation of COVID-19 Emergency Fund through voluntary contributions from all SAARC Nations. This fund can be used by any of the partner countries to meet the cost of immediate actions. India has offered the US $10 million for the fund.Key Points:
-India is also assembling a Rapid Response Team of doctors and specialists, along with testing kits and other equipment, on standby mode, as an aid for other countries, if required.
-An online training capsule is arranged for the emergency response teams of the neighbouring countries and India’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Portalis shared to help trace possible virus carriers.
–SAARC Disaster Management Centre will be used for effective and efficient practises.
-A common Research Platform will be created to coordinate research on controlling epidemic diseases within the South Asian region (SAR).
India’s aid to other countries:
-India has successfully evacuated almost 1400 Indians from different countries along with some citizens of the neighbouring countries in accordance with the ‘Neighbourhood first policy’.
Indian government provided medical assistance to the Maldives to deal with COVID-19 cases and for evacuating nine Maldivians from Wuhan.
23 Bangladeshi students brought back from Wuhan along with Indian students.
Establishment– 8 December 1985
Headquarters– Kathmandu, Nepal
Members– 8: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.