AGENCIES, New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday evening held a meeting with SAARC leaders to frame a strategy to counter the coronavirus outbreak across the globe. He said to “prepare but do not panic” and added that the region which housed one-fifth of the world population had to be ready to deal with this contingency.
Modi proposed to create an emergency fund with “voluntary contributions” to counter the novel coronavirus to SAARC nations — India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Modi has pledged $10 million (approximately Rs 74 crore) for the fund. He also offered to share Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal, set up in India, to better trace possible virus carriers. “We are assembling a Rapid Response Team of doctors and specialists in India, along with testing kits and other equipment. They will be on stand-by, to be placed at your disposal, if required. We could share this Disease Surveillance software with SAARC partners, and training on using this,” he said.
The number of positive coronavirus cases in India climbed to 108 on Sunday, with Maharashtra reporting the highest 31 cases in the state.