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Monday, May 25, 2020

Modi, Trump: Use India-US partnership to jointly fight COVID-19

Modi and Trump exchanged notes on the steps taken in each country for mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: April 5, 2020 7:05:07 am
Explained: Reading the Donald Trump's visit to India Indian and US leaders have maintained close contact with each other in the last few weeks. (Source: White House)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said he had an extensive discussion on the COVID-19 crisis with US President Donald Trump over the phone.

Stating it was “a good discussion”, the Prime Minister said in a tweet, “Had an extensive telephone conversation with President @realDonaldTrump. We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19.” The two also discussed the impact of the pandemic on the global well-being and economy, the PMO said in a statement.

“Stressing the special relationship between the two countries, the Prime Minister reiterated India’s solidarity with the USA in overcoming this global crisis together. The two leaders agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19,” the statement said.

Modi and Trump exchanged notes on the steps taken in each country for mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. “The two leaders also touched upon the significance of practices such as Yoga and Ayurveda (traditional Indian herbal medicine practice) for ensuring physical and mental well-being in these difficult times,” the statement said. They agreed their officials would remain in close touch.

Indian and US leaders have maintained close contact with each other in the last few weeks. While External Affairs minister S Jaishankar has spoken to US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo twice – on April 1 and March 14, Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Defence Secretary Mark Esper on March 21.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also engaged with his counterpart from the US, in his interaction with the Indo-Pacific countries.

India has recorded 75 deaths due to COVID-19 so far, while the total number of cases has climbed to 3,072, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday evening.

The US has, so far, confirmed 278,458 cases of COVID-19 and more than 7,100 deaths. New York state remains the worst hit area, with nearly 3,000 deaths.

The deadly coronavirus has so far infected over 1,131,000 people and claimed the lives of over 59,800 people across the world, according to latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University.

On Saturday, Modi also spoke to Brazil’s President Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon. Modi and Bolsonaro stressed upon the significance of close cooperation between the two countries, bilaterally and in the multilateral institutional framework, to mitigate the grave crises caused by COVID-19. They agreed on the need to forge a new human-centric concept of globalisation for the post-COVID world.

With Spain’s PM, the two leaders agreed on the importance of international cooperation for fighting the global health crisis. “The Spanish Prime Minister agreed with Prime Minister’s observation that the world needed to define a new, human-centric concept of globalisation for the post-COVID era,” the statement said.

The two leaders also agreed on the utility of yoga and traditional herbal medicines for providing an easily accessible means of ensuring the psychological and physical health of people confined to their homes due to the pandemic, the statement said.

In the past few weeks, Modi has spoken to leaders from France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel among others.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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