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National News

Apr 01, 2020
8:28PM

S Jaishankar, Pompeo discuss regional, global COVID-19 situation

@DrSJaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday evening. Government sources said the focus was on regional and global situation surrounding COVID-19 and how India and US can coordinate on the matter. Extension of visas for Indian students and professionals was also raised. There was some discussion on situation in Afghanistan. US Secretary of State expressed condolences over the attack on Gurudwara in Kabul. It was also agreed that both sides would continue to exchange notes on evolving situation in Afghanistan.

Sources said there is a huge shortage and requirement of PPE kits, ventilators, N95 masks in India  and the country will continue to source from wherever available. India is working with Ambassador in Beijing to look at various available sources in terms of material available to buy. Domestic companies have also been encouraged to ramp up their production to meet ongoing demand in the country. Health and Textile Ministry are also working with domestic manufacturers to enhance production.

On efforts to convene special meeting of UNSC, sources said the global emergency requires coordinated approach. It is for members of UNSC to decide when and in what context this meeting should take place. Government sources also said, the Ministry of External Affairs is in the forefront in India's response to combating the coronavirus pandemic. COVID control room has been set up and 3300 telephone calls and 2500 emails were answered by Covid Cell. The COVID cell also collects data from around the world to understand the trends of spread of this pandemic.

The focus is to ensure that Indians who are stranded abroad in different parts of the world are taken care of by Embassies and Consulates. 

Sources also informed that a decision has been taken to accept contributions from abroad in the PM-CARES fund. They said when Prime Minister spoke to Indian ambassadors and High Commissioners recently, he asked them to make efforts so that contribution is made towards this Fund.

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