Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the heads of Indian Embassies and High Commissions - in a first such event for Indian Missions worldwide - via a video conference yesterday.
The video conference was convened to discuss responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister noted that extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions,which was why even in this globalized era most of the world had quarantined itself. Despite the extensive and far-reaching impact upon the global economy
The Prime Minister spoke about the world’s largest lockdown - the quarantine implemented by India in response to the pandemic to prevent a large outbreak.
The PM emphasised on the following to the the embassies and consulates:
- The need to take care of themselves - To ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families
- The need to take care of Indian nationals abroad - To attend to Indians still stuck in foreign countries, boost their morale and help to address issues arising from their unplanned stay abroad
- The need to stay alert and identify best practices- The missions could share innovations, scientific breakthroughs and sources to procure medical equipment for India’s fight against COVID-19 in their accredited countries. They could also mobilize donations from abroad for the newly-established PM-CARES Fund.
- The need to ensure that commerce and economy is unaffected as far as possible - especially essential supplies, logistics chains and remittances, through their coordination with foreign partners
- The need to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation - especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Heads of Mission expressed gratitude for the guidance and inspiration from PM for their work and outlined their efforts to:
- Help Indians stranded abroad, in particular, students and workers.
- Identify medicine, medical devices, technologies, research and other measures which might help in India’s own national effort to fight this pandemic.
- Share lessons learned in other countries, and their best practices, in the global fight against COVID-19.
- To assist the national responses of those countries, using the special fund created at India’s initiative for SAARC countries to combat COVID-19.
Ten Heads of Mission, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives.
The embassies and consulates shared feedback regarding appreciation in their countries of accreditation, of the resolute measures taken by India to combat this pandemic.
The High Commission of India to Singapore tweeted that PM Modi is taking the lead in the fight against COVID-19 at home and abroad.
India Fights Corona said the headline tweeted by the High Commissioner of India in Australia
PM Modi emphasized at the conclusion of the conference that India’s Missions abroad may well be far from home, but they remain full participants in India’s fight against COVID-19.