NEW DELHI: In a video conference with heads of India’s embassies and high commissions worldwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday complimented Heads of Missions for their efforts to evacuate Indians stranded abroad in some of the epicentres amidst coronavirus crisis. The conference—the first such event for Indian Missions worldwide—was convened to discuss responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
PM Modi noted that extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions, which was why even in this globalized era, most of the world had quarantined itself.
The Prime Minister said that India had taken unprecedented and early steps in response to this pandemic from mid-January this year, to reduce the risk of importing the infection, and thereafter to prevent a large outbreak. This included the world’s largest quarantine and lock-down, implemented by India.
The Prime Minister also exhorted them to ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families and also to boost the morale of compatriots abroad given the uncertainty of continuing international travel restrictions. PM Modi also asked the Heads of Missions to arrange shelter wherever feasible and to identify best practices, innovations, scientific breakthroughs and sources to procure medical equipment for India’s fight against COVID-19.
The Prime Minister also advised Heads of Mission to suitably publicize the newly-established PM-CARES Fund to mobilize donations from abroad and to coordinate with foreign partners to ensure essential supplies, logistics chains, remittances remains unaffected.
In response, ten Heads of Mission, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to Prime Minister and the rest of the audience. They shared feedback regarding appreciation in their countries of accreditation of the resolute measures taken by India to combat this pandemic, reported PIB.
Heads of Missions outlined their efforts to help Indians stranded abroad, in particular, students and workers. They also reported efforts to identify medicine, medical devices, technologies, research and other measures which might help in India’s own national effort to fight this pandemic. Heads of Mission also reported lessons learned in other countries, and their best practices, in the global fight against COVID-19.
Heads of Mission in India’s neighbourhood underlined measures to assist the national responses of those countries, using the special fund created at India’s initiative for SAARC countries to combat COVID-19. The Heads of Mission also expressed gratitude for the guidance and inspiration from PM for their work.
In conclusion, Prime Minister emphasized that India’s Missions abroad may well be far from home, but they remain full participants in India’s fight against COVID-19. He emphasized that the unity and alertness of all Indians would help safeguard the nation’s future.