Coronavirus update: Pandemic regenerates SAARC

Maharashtra now worst-affected in India | Spain under lockdown

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 15 March 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi March 15, 2020 offered $10 million (around Rs 74 crore) to seed a common fund for SAARC countries to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

Modi represented India at a video conference of leaders of member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. They put their heads together to find common ground for regional cooperation in the face of the pandemic.

Almost all leaders advocated increased cooperation and continuous exchange between the countries. SAARC has been all but defunct for some time now even as ties between India and Pakistan soured.

Modi closed the session by mooting another meeting between officials a week later.

Maha crosses 30

Maharashtra overtook Kerala, with 31 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positve cases, to be the most-affected Indian state. All the patients were Indian citizens. Kerala's count was 22 while Haryana was the third-worst affected with 14 patients — all foreigners. India’s tally was at 107 as of noon March 15.

Europe crisis acute

Spain PM Pedro Sánchez announced a nationwide lockdown for 15 days at least.

People can step out for medical purposes or buying groceries. This will affect 47 million people. The country has registered 6,400 cases, the most after China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

In Italy — which too had announced a similar lockdown earlier — a mayor reportedly succumbed to the COVID-19 outbreak. Giorgio Valoti, the mayor of Cena in northern Italy, was 70.

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