Modi appeals SAARC leaders to jointly fight coronavirus


KATHMANDU, March 13: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the SAARC leaders to chalk out a joint strategy to fight the coronavirus.

He said the strategy could be discussed via video conferencing to keep the citizens of SAARC nations healthy and set an example to the world.

“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. Together, we can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet,” Modi tweeted on Friday.

“Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it.

“South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population should leave no stone unturned to ensure our people are healthy,” he added.

Modi’s appeal comes after India reported its first fatality from COVID-19 today morning.

The Karnata government said that the 76-year-old man died while being treated for suspected COVID-19 on Tuesday and his samples sent to the lab earlier were tested positive.

India has reported 74 cases which the highest number of coronavirus infections in South Asia. Pakistan has confirmed 21 cases, the Maldives has eight cases, Afghanistan has seven cases, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have three cases each and Nepal and Bhutan have one case each, according to the World Health Organization.

As of Friday, the global pandemic has infected 132,567 people in 123 countries and territories and killed 4,947.