Foreign Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla participated on 20 March 2020 in a telephonic conference call initiated by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun for discussions among some countries in the Indo-Pacific region on issues related to countering COVID-19. The teleconference included senior representatives from Australia, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Japan.
The participants shared their assessments of the current situation with respect to COVID-19, and discussed ways to synergize their efforts to counter its spread.
Foreign Secretary Shringla briefed the participants on the proactive steps taken by India both nationally and in the region under the Prime Minister's leadership. He conveyed India’s desire to regularly share its perspectives with partners in the region and to work together with others to counter this challenge. The participants are expected to continue the conference call on a weekly basis, covering issues like cooperation on vaccine development, challenges of stranded citizens, assistance to countries in need and mitigating the impact on the global economy, etc.