India is battling the covid19 pandemic in a steadfast and resolute manner. New Delhi’s mature handling of the crisis has been appreciated by the international community. Since the first case of coronavirus emerged in India, from a student returning from Wuhan, China; India put together protocols for managing the pandemic.
India started thermal screening of air and sea passengers arriving into the country from all over the world. India stopped entry of foreigners except diplomats from March 15. It also halted International air services from the same date.
To have a common strategy for fighting the covid19, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). India announced a fund of US$ 10 million for SAARC and also allowed the use of her medical portals for the members of the grouping.
Since the countrywide lockdown on 25th March, Prime Minister Modi has been consistently reaching out to the leaderships of the global community including USA, Russia, UK, France, China, Australia and many other countries.
In the G20 Virtual Summit organised under the chairmanship of King Salman of Saudi Arabia; the Indian Prime Minister spelt out India’s strategy in battling the pandemic. Mr. Modi called for synergy between the G20 countries to have a common yet comprehensive approach in fighting coronavirus. India also pledged to be part of the US$ 5 trillion G20 fund to help tide over the economic impact of covid19.
India also provided humanitarian and medical assistance to the SAARC countries like Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Nepal immediately after the pandemic hit those countries. New Delhi has supplied the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine to US, Russia, Britain, France, Switzerland, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and 48 other nations.
India’s role during the pandemic has been appreciated by the UN, the WHO and the global community. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have also praised India’s stimulus package for the domestic industry and the weaker sections.
The pandemic has brought out India’s best role. The entire country has risen as one to take on the pandemic. The states too are working in close coordination with the central government to fight the virus. The government is seized of the impact of covid19 on India’s economy. The exact nature of this is being thoroughly studied. Ministries have been tasked to work on strategies to be rolled out after the lockdown is lifted.
Though the international financial institutions have said that global recession is on the cards, India has its work cut-out. Focussing on providing jobs, India announced certain easing of norms in the non-hotspot areas of the country from 20th April.
In these areas, agricultural activities, rural construction, marketing of rural produce; industrial work and other developmental activities are permitted with proper social distancing and maintenance of personal hygiene. This measure has been welcomed by the entire country. Also, despite the pandemic, India is to see bumper output of food grains this year too. This would add to the 7.2 crore MT of buffer stock.
India has chosen to walk the difficult path with maturity. New Delhi has been able to strike a fine balance between her domestic fight against coronavirus and her international obligations and commitments.
India’s positivity in the midst of the gloom set by the corona pandemic is sure to earn her laurels in these difficult times.
Script: Kaushik Roy, AIR: News Analyst.