At G-20 meet tomorrow, PM Modi’s push to turn Covid-19 into global fight
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the G-20 conference tomorrow to turn the battle against the deadly Sars-CoV-2 pathogen into a global fight where participant countries pool in their medical knowledge and resources to block the spread of contagion, people familiar with the developments said. Rather than be confined to the 15-member UN Security Council currently headed by China, the G-20 is a representative body of 46 countries (if the European Union is divided into individual entities) with a large number of them battered by the rampaging infection. The expected G-20 call will be for member nations to ramp up their medical infrastructure capacities to handle the worst-case scenario and pool scientific effort towards prevention and treatment of the virus. Although PM Modi announced the historic 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday evening, he had taken the first decisive step towards it by stopping long-distance trains on the north-south corridor on March 18. The decision was clearly designed to contain the virus that causes Covid-19 to big metros such as Mumbai and Pune, where the medical infrastructure was better. The effort was to minimise the possibility of immigrants from states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh spreading the disease to their remote villages that have virtually non-existent medical facilities.