KATHMANDU, March 15: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed to setup a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to combat deadly virus in South Asia.
Modi also pledged to contribute $10 million to start the fund in the beginning phase.
"This fund could be based on voluntary contributions from all of us. India can start with an initial offer of 10 million US dollars for this fund," Modi said during the ongoing video conference among SAARC leaders to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
"We had set up an Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal to better trace possible virus carriers and the people they contacted. We could share this Disease Surveillance software with SAARC partners, and training on using this," Modi said.
Modi said that his country is assembling a Rapid Response Team of doctors and specialists in India, along with testing kits and other equipment. "They will be on stand-by, to be placed at your disposal, if required," Modi told the SAARC leaders.
Modi further said "Looking ahead, we could create a common Research Platform, to coordinate research on controlling epidemic diseases within our South Asian region. The Indian Council of Medical Research can offer help coordinating such an exercise."