03:02 GMT29 October 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a phone talk with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday to discuss the global situation around the COVID-19 pandemic. Modi proposed to Saudi Arabia, as chair of G20 nations, to convene a virtual conference to address the challenges posed by the virus.

    Saudi Arabia has accepted a proposal by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a virtual conference of G20 member nations to figure out a coordinated response to tackle the economic implications of COVID-19.

    “G20 leaders will put forward a coordinated set of policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy", said a statement issued by Saudi Arabia.

    ​Due to the coronavirus outbreak, global health and welfare organisations have suggested avoiding international travel, mass gatherings, and physical social interactions. The contagious virus that has been found to be affecting the respiratory system has resulted in the deaths of over 7,900 people worldwide.

    During Modi's interaction with SAARC leaders, he had proposed a special fund dedicated towards tackling the virus outbreak. As the first deposit in the special fund, the Indian Prime Minister also offered a sum of $10 million.

    ​The coronavirus has infected over 180,000 people globally. In India, three deaths and 130 positive cases of COVID-19 have been recorded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, while in Saudi Arabia, the number of infected by COVID-19 is 133, according to the latest data from the government.

    As a precautionary measure, India has suspended all international visas for the time being. Temples, tourist destinations, schools, and colleges have been shut across the country and a majority offices have permitted their employees to work from home.





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