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26 March 2020, Mint

The global dynamics of COVID-19

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), which has spread to more than 160 countries, is a global challenge, calling for coordinated intervention at the national, regional and global levels. Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House, in this interview, outlines four aspects of the calamity

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme

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The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an unparalleled global challenge, requiring much more concerted regional and international cooperation than currently evident, says Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House. The former ambassador to five countries points out that the Indian government’s approach has evolved from monitoring, and learning from, other countries and the strategies they have adopted. Prime Minister Modi’s prompt convening of a video summit of SAARC countries for a more coordinated containment response to the pandemic was, therefore, a bold diplomatic step: other countries are now replicating this in combating the geopolitical, economic and health dimensions of the disease.

In this video, which was recorded earlier this week (March 23), Ambassador Bhatia makes four main points:

a) COVID-19 is a global challenge and needs to be addressed on a national and international level.

b) The Government of India has been studying the approach of affected countries and assimilating elements that are applicable to India in its strategy of containment.

c) India is adopting a sober view vis-à-vis China, maintaining a constructive spirit, sending assistance where required – rather than falling prey to disputes – as the pandemic has affected all of mankind.

d) Prime Minister Modi is proactively initiating multilateral cooperation through the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and G20.

Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguised Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, Gateway House.

This video was originally published by Mint.