The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that requests for material assistance received by India from the Saarc nations in the forms of masks, gloves and disinfectants have crossed $1 million, in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19. While materials have already been sent to Bhutan and the Maldives, deliveries to other nations will start soon.
Additional secretary and coordinator for Covid-19 Dammu Ravi said the special control rooms set up by the MEA are being further strengthened to enhance efficiency of the response to specific issues of specific countries. The control rooms have been equipped with dedicated helplines that are operating 24×7 to respond to the concerns in a secure and timely manner.
These control rooms are staffed by 25-30 people working in 8-hour shifts to deal with the issues. The control rooms have attended to 1,355 calls and 522 emails since the evening of March 17.
MEA's chief spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video conferencing with Saarc leaders, cooperation is being done in a coordinated manner and a video conference with health professionals from these countries to discuss the best practices is being planned in a week's time. Besides, a group of secretaries is engaged in daily monitoring of the situation.