New Delhi: As the number of COVID-19 patients has swelled past a million in just over three months across the globe, India and Australia on Monday agreed to share "collaborative research efforts" in the context of the health crisis.
Both the countries agreed on the "importance of bilateral experience sharing" amid the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis in a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday morning.
The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the domestic response strategies being adopted by their respective governments. "They agreed on the importance of bilateral experience-sharing in the context of this health crisis, including through collaborative research efforts," a Prime Minister's Office statement said.
Modi conveyed that the government of India stands ready to provide necessary facilitation and support to any Australian citizens stranded in India due to travel restrictions. Morrison similarly assured that the Indian community in Australia, including Indian students, would continue to be valued as a vibrant part of Australian society, the statement said.
"Both leaders agreed to remain attentive to the wider significance of the India-Australia partnership, including in the Indo-Pacific region, even as they focus on solving the present health crisis."
The talks took place between the two leaders when 109 deaths were reported in India with over 4,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases A total of 39 deaths and over 5,000 confirmed cases have been reported in Australia.