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Business News/ News / India/  PM Modi, Donald Trump discuss joint action against coronavirus outbreak

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to US president Donald Trump on the widening scope of the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy.

“Had an extensive telephone conversation with President @realDonaldTrump. We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19," a Twitter post by Modi said.

A statement from Modi’s office said two leaders had “exchanged views on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global well-being and economy."

Modi conveyed his deep condolences for the loss of lives in the US, it said.

“Stressing the special relationship between the two countries, the Prime Minister reiterated India’s solidarity with the US in overcoming this global crisis together. The two leaders agreed to deploy the full strength of the India – US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19," the statement said.

“The Prime Minister and the US President exchanged notes on the respective steps taken in each country for mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic," it added.

The conversation comes as the US has topped the list of countries with the most number of covid-19 infections in the world with almost 280,000 infections and a spiralling death toll. New York has emerged as a key hotspot for infections and deaths in the US. But Trump has not yet called for a lockdown that has invited criticism. Trump and many of his officials in the past have blamed China for not making public the details of the disease soon after it erupted in Hubei province in December. India on its part has refrained from blaming China though it has implicitly criticised the World Health Organisation and called for a relook at the working of the global body and for its strengthening. That the WHO was slow in describing covid-19 as a pandemic, reportedly at China’s behest, has been one of the key criticisms against the body.

In India, cases of infections have spiralled in recent days with more than 3,000 people infected by the disease and 75 deaths being recorded.

Worldwide the number of infections due to the novel coronavirus has crossed 1.14 million and claimed more than 60,000 lives in more than 180 countries or regions in the world.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar earlier this week and exchanged views on covid-19 and a host of other subjects, including the situation in Afghanistan.

Besides Trump, Modi also spoke to Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon and the president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday on the toll the covid-19 pandemic was taking across the world.

In his talk with the Spanish prime minister, Modi conveyed his condolences for the loss of lives in Spain, another statement from his office said.

Modi assured his Spanish counterpart that India “stands in solidarity with the heroic Spanish efforts, and would be ready to extend support to the best of its ability," the statement said.

“The two leaders agreed on the importance of international cooperation for fighting the global health crisis. The Spanish Prime Minister agreed with Prime Minister’s observation that the world needed to define a new, human-centric concept of globalisation for the post-COVID era," it added.

Spain has emerged as a key hotspot for covid-19 infections in Europe. Worldwide it’s second only to the US in the number of infections, inching towards 125,000.

In his conversation with Bolsonaro, the two leaders “stressed the significance of close cooperation between India and Brazil, bilaterally as well as in the multilateral institutional framework, to mitigate the grave crises caused by COVID-19," a third statement from Modi’s office said. “They agreed on the need to forge a new human-centric concept of globalisation for the post-COVID world," it added.

Modi “assured all possible support to Brazil President in this difficult hour. They agreed that their officials would remain in regular touch with respect to the COVID-19 situation and its emerging challenges," the statement added.

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Updated: 04 Apr 2020, 10:54 PM IST
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