Covid-19: India is at heart of international cooperation, says External Affairs Minister

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 16, 2020

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar   -  PTI

Vande Bharat mission brought 24 lakh Indians back from abroad while about one lakh foreigners were sent back to their respective countries

The Covid19 pandemic has brought out the importance of international cooperation, according to S Jaishankar, Minister for External Affairs, Government of India.

“Today, the focus has shifted to rapid testing and vaccines. We are at the heart of international cooperation,” the Union Minister said.

Also read: FM announces ₹900 crore grant for Covid-19 vaccine research

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the Deccan Dialogue on Crisis and Cooperation: Imperatives in Times of Pandemic organised by Indian School of Business (ISB) virtually on Monday.

“We are entering a new different era,” the Minister said, describing it as a more self-confidence-driven approach at home and cooperation with the world.

The standard procedures and testing protocols put in place by countries across the world helped repatriation of Indians who were held up abroad.

The Vande Bharat mission brought 24 lakh Indians back from abroad while about one lakh foreigners were sent back to their respective countries, the minister said.

Also read: Vande Bharat Mission: Numbers behind the largest civilian evacuation in history

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the United Nations on active collaboration in dealing with pandemic, Jaishankar said: “The world is counting on us.”

If health security was an immediate challenge, the perennial ones cannot also be neglected, he said citing recent responses of India to natural calamities in countries such as Sri Lanka.

He has also referred to the need to contain global terrorism stating that it had now become a focus area for G20 along with measures to reign in blackmoney.

Domestically, the immediate focus on economic recovery and the numbers of September and October were “encouraging” the minister said while highlighting the expected push of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Referring to Covid-19 response of India, he said a nation that had no preparedness for such a crisis, today has 15,000 dedicated facilities, 1.5 million isolated beds and capacity to conduct over one million tests a day.

“The social discipline in India is extraordinary,” he added.

Published on November 16, 2020

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