: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi today held a video conference with all the heads of Indian missions worldwide to discuss the responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
During the conference which took place at 5pm today - the first such event for Indian Missions worldwide - Modi noted that India had taken unprecedented and early steps in response to this pandemic from mid-January this year to reduce the risk of importing the infection and prevent a large outbreak.
"This included the world's largest quarantine and lock-down, implemented by India," he said during the conference, the statement of which was emailed to Bernama by the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur tonight.
Modi also complimented the Heads of Missions for their efforts to evacuate Indians stranded abroad in some of the epicentres of the crisis.
He exhorted them to take steps to ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families; and to attend to Indians who remain in various foreign countries, given the uncertainty of continuing international travel restrictions.
The prime minister also asked them to stay alert and identify in their countries of accreditation best practices, innovations, scientific breakthroughs and sources to procure medical equipment for India's fight against COVID-19.
"Modi also advised Heads of Mission to also focus on ensuring that commerce in essential supplies, logistics chains, remittances and so on are unaffected, through their coordination with foreign partners besides continuing to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said.
In response, ten Heads of Mission, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to Modi and the rest of the audience.
They shared the feedback regarding the appreciation in their countries of accreditation of the resolute measures taken by India to combat this pandemic.
The Heads of Missions outlined their efforts to help Indians stranded abroad, in particular, students and workers.
They also reported efforts to identify medicine, medical devices, technologies, research and other measures which might help in India's own national effort to fight this pandemic.