The coronavirus pandemic has opened new pathways of cooperation between the two strategic partners as Vietnam assured to provide India with medical supplies such as protective gear to combat the deadly disease.
In a telephonic conversation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc discussed support to each other’s citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam is one of the few countries with zero fatalities from the virus, although it has detected over 1500 cases, mostly due to the influx of its citizens from abroad. During their phone conversation on April 13, the two leaders discussed the anti-coronavirus measures being implemented as well as cooperation in medical supplies to combat the situation. They explored potential collaboration in fighting the virus, including facilitating supplies of medical equipment, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
The Vietnamese leader told PM Modi that Vietnam would stand ready to cooperate with and provide assistance to India in the fight against the COVID-19, within its capacity. Vietnam has sent 450,000 units of protective gear to the US recently. Reviewing regional and global developments in the context of COVID-19, the two leaders invoked their strategic partnership to deal with the outbreak. Both leaders also expressed satisfaction at the progress on various bilateral fronts and agreed on the close coordination of their respective teams to strengthen pandemic response and mutual ties.
According to Vietnam’s health ministry, 1,596 cases have been detected, and 24,311 tests have been carried out in the country. Vietnam had said in mid-February that all its then-16 confirmed coronavirus cases had recovered, but it has since been battling an influx of imported cases from overseas and Vietnamese citizens. Vietnam’s exemplary response to the pandemic crisis has earned praise from the World Health Organisation and the region. Vietnam is the current chair of the 10-nation ASEAN. Over the years, Vietnam has emerged a lynchpin of India’s Act East policy marked by close strategic coordination on a range of issues, including freedom of navigation in South China Sea.
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