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COVID-19 | ‘Stay alert, help Indians’, PM Modi tells India’s Heads of Missions

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Holding a first of its kind video-conference with Indian Missions worldwide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked India’s Heads of Missions to attend to the Indians who remain in various foreign countries, given the uncertainty of continuing international travel restrictions.

He also advised Heads of Mission to suitably publicize the newly-established PM-CARES Fund to mobilize donations from abroad.

PM Modi emphasized that India’s Missions abroad may well be far from home, but they remain full participants in India’s fight against COVID-19. He asked all Heads of Missions to ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families.

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Calling upon on Heads of Indian Missions to help boost the morale of such compatriots abroad, PM Modi also asked them to help them address issues arising from their unplanned stay abroad, with their host governments, and also to address other problems Indians might face abroad, including arranging shelter, where necessary and feasible.

PM Modi also asked the Heads of Missions 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.

To tackle the impact of this crisis on the economy, PM Modi 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.

PM Modi asked the Heads of Missions to continue to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, the ten Heads of Missions, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to PM and the rest of the audience. They shared their feedback regarding 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 the 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.

The Heads of Mission also reported lessons learned in other countries, and their best practices, in the global fight against COVID-19.

In our neighbourhood, the Heads of Mission underlined measures to assist the national responses of those countries, using the special fund created at India’s initiative for SAARC countries to combat COVID-19.

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