PM Modi had a conversation with ten world leaders via a video conference to ensure that all the heads of mission are on the same page, added the sources.

The Centre has decided to accept foreign donations for the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) that was set-up to fight the deadly coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, sources told Zee News on Wednesday. PM Modi had a conversation with ten world leaders via a video conference to ensure that all the heads of mission are on the same page, added the sources. He exhorted them to take a step on specific counts.

To combat the challenge of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi on March 28 had announced the PM CARES Fund, a public charitable trust. The fund has been set up so that the people who want to contribute can do so by following a few simple steps which will help the government tide over the major COVID-19 hurdle. While the Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust, its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.

The pandemic of COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world and has posed serious challenges for the health and economic security of millions of people worldwide. In India too, the spread of coronavirus has been alarming and is posing severe health and economic ramifications for our country. The Prime Minister’s office has been receiving spontaneous and innumerable requests for making generous donations to support the government in the wake of this emergency.

Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, the fund has been started.

This fund will enable micro-donations as a result of which a large number of people will be able to contribute with the smallest of denominations. Citizens and organisations can go to the website and donate to PM CARES Fund.

According to sources, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar spoke to finance ministers of the European Union (EU), US, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka on how to coordinate position. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has supported measures taken by the government and is on the forefront to deal with the crisis.

The senior officials of commerce ministries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are expected to meet soon to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Calling it a global emergency, the sources said, “We are seeing a global emergency and we need global coordination. We took lead on SAARC and we participated in G20. As far as UNSC is concerned, its members need to decide a meet is required on COVID-19.”

The Indian mission has dedicated helpline to reach out to the stranded Indians in the affected countries. The sources added that India has evacuated 2,500 of its citizens from around the globe over coronavirus crisis. India rescued 1,600 citizens stranded in transit. It also added that India has been assisting foreign missions and 10,000 foreign nationals have left the country so far.

Clarifying on the equipments exported to Serbia, the sources said, “Items that were exported to Serbia was not in the prohibited list. The guidelines are very clear.”

Speaking on Indians evacuated from Iran, the sources said, “All Indians in Iran before evacuation were tested. Those who have been tested negative were sent back, those who have been tested positive are being taken care of.”