Indian Prime Minister Narnedra Modi proposed that the leadership of SAARC nations should chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus.
"I am confident that our coming together will lead to effective outcomes and benefit our citizens," he said in a tweet.
"Timely action for a healthier planet. Tomorrow (Sunday) at 5 PM, leaders of SAARC nations will discuss, via conference, a roadmap to fight the challenge of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus," PM Modi tweeted last night.
Modi will address SAARC nations in a special video conference to evolve a joint strategy to fight the sweeping novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak that has killed more than 5,000 people worldwide and infected 1.3 lakh others. The video conference comes two days after PM Modi pitched that SAARC leaders work together to fight the pandemic.
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are members of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). In tweets on Friday, the Prime Minister had said the leaders can discuss via video conferencing ways to keep citizens healthy.
"I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy," PM Modi had tweeted.
South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population, should leave no stone unturned to ensure that the people are healthy, PM Modi said in another tweet.
Prime Minister Modi's call was well received by member countries, with a Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson tweeting on Saturday to acknowledge the need for "coordinated efforts at global and regional level(s)". Representing Pakistan will be Dr Zafar Mirza, Prime Minister Imran Khan's special assistant on health. The Afghan mission in New Delhi said that President Ashraf Ghani will join PM Modi and the South Asian leaders. Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will also participate in the video conference, the country's mission in India reportedly said.