SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches website to share info on coronavirus

New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) The SAARC Disaster Management Centre has launched a website for information related to the coronavirus pandemic in the region as proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent video conference with leaders and representatives of the member states.

The website shows the number of coronavirus cases in the member states, updating the numbers regularly.

It shows that at least 960 coronavirus cases have been reported in the SAARC region with maximum from Pakistan (495), followed by India (324), Sri Lanka (77), Afghanistan (24), Bangladesh (24), Maldives (13), Bhutan (2) and Nepal (1). The website says that at least 5 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in India, three in Pakistan, while two died in Bangladesh.

'From regional plan to regional action! SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches a website for information related to COVID-19 pandemic in the SAARC region, as announced by PM Narendra Modi during the video conference with SAARC Leaders,' Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. During the video conference last Sunday, Modi had called for using existing facilities, like the SAARC Disaster Management Centre, to pool in the best practices among all the member states to combat coronavirus.

'Looking ahead, we could create a common Research Platform, to coordinate research on controlling epidemic diseases within our South Asian region. The Indian Council of Medical Research can offer help coordinating such an exercise,' the prime minister had said.

Modi had also proposed an emergency fund with an initial offer of USD 10 million from India. Apart from Modi, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza, had participated in the conference.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation and geopolitical union of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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