India and the US put together plan to fight coronavirus

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and external affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke to each other on March 14 and discussed ways in which India and the United States could cooperate to address the global challenge posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, said US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

The conversation took place less than a month after US President Donald Trump’s India visit, which had focused on partnership in the health sector among other areas.

“In support of global efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks such as Covid-19, Prime Minister Modi and President Trump committed to continuing their successful efforts,” said a joint Indo-US statement issued during Trump’s visit.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases surpassed 3,000 in the US and the death toll increased to at least 61 people while in India the number of confirmed cases increased to 114, including foreign nationals, on Monday.

Besides exploring ways to cooperate with the US on the issue, India is looking to team up with other countries as well to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Indo-US 123

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative in this regard. “I am also aware that (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to organise a link-up between all the G20 leaders. I think that’s a commendable initiative. Australia obviously supports that,” Morrison said at a press conference.

G20, or the world’s top 20 economies, including India, had met in Riyadh on Thursday last week and decided to enhance cooperation and coordination to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, protect people, mitigate the economic impact and maintain economic stability while avoiding stigmatisation, ET had first reported on Saturday.

A G20 finance meeting is also in the offing to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

At last week’s meeting, the G20 states decided to step up support for the development of early warning systems, appropriate treatments and vaccine.

They decided to support and work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the outbreak, share relevant information, and encourage preventive measures, early detection and clinical care.

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed to use all available policy tools, including appropriate fiscal and monetary measures, to respond to the economic impact of Covid-19.

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