Coronavirus Outbreak: Narendra Modi pitches for new crisis management protocol at G-20 video conference on COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for developing a new crisis management protocol to deal with the coronavirus crisis at an extraordinary videoconference of the G-20 leaders

Press Trust of India March 26, 2020 23:58:26 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Narendra Modi pitches for new crisis management protocol at G-20 video conference on COVID-19

New Delhi: As the world reels under the economic and social fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for developing a new crisis management protocol to deal with global health crisis and urged the powerful G20 grouping to work towards addressing shockwaves triggered by the pandemic.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing G-20 leaders at the extraordinary video conference on COVID-19 . Image Courtesy: Twitter@MEAIndia

In his address at an extraordinary videoconference of the G-20 leaders, Modi also urged the grouping to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the pandemic and said human beings rather than economic targets should be put at the centre of its vision for global prosperity and cooperation.

The powerful grouping of world's 20 major industrialised nations at its meeting decided to inject over USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the social and economic impact of COVID-19 .

The G20 held the videoconference to discuss ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 21,000 people and infected more than 470,000 globally.

Government sources said there was no discussion on the origin of the coronavirus or on China at the summit and that the spirit during the deliberations was of collaborative approach in dealing with the crisis.

There were no efforts to ascribe blame to anyone for the outbreak of the virus, they said.

The leaders, including US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, also agreed to contribute to the WHO-led COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on a voluntary basis.

In his remarks, Modi noted the alarming social and economic cost of the pandemic, adding that 90 per cent of the COVID-19 cases and 88 per cent of deaths were in G20 countries.

The G20 grouping shares 80 per cent of world GDP and 60 per cent of world population.

The External Affairs Ministry said Modi underscored the need for free and open sharing of the benefits of medical research and development and sought developing an adaptive, responsive and humane health care systems.

It said he also sought strengthening and reforming intergovernmental organisations like WHO and work together to reduce economic hardships resulting from COVID-19 particularly for the economically weaker nations.

The prime minister also called for ushering in a new globalisation for collective well being of entire humankind, noting that medical research should be freely and openly available for all countries, government sources said.

He said empowering the WHO was necessary for development of effective vaccines to deal with global pandemics.

"Let us put human beings rather than economic targets at centre of our vision for global prosperity and cooperation," Modi was quoted as saying by the sources.

He also stressed on developing a more adaptive, responsive, affordable and human healthcare system that can be deployed globally to deal with healthcare crisis.

At the meeting, the G20 leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the pandemic and protect people.

They also supported strengthening of the WHO's mandate in the fight against pandemics, including delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines.

The leaders committed to use all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social cost of the pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability and strengthening resilience.

According to the sources, Modi said the coronavirus pandemic has offered an opportunity to look afresh at a new concept of globalisation and that the grouping has to focus on problems being faced by the humanity.

They said the G-20 leaders also appreciated India's efforts at the regional level to fight the pandemic.

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