India has invited Pakistan to join a health secretary-level meet virtually on Thursday to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

India is hosting the workshop with other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC ) countries.

The virtual workshop will discuss issues like the management of Covid-19, response to the pandemic and exchange of best practices amid the pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a video conference of the SAARC Heads of State on March 15, 2020, had proposed a Coronavirus Emergency Fund for the region.

This emergency fund was set up in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The initiative seeks to mitigate the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic in the South Asian region with India contributing USD10 million to it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal for the coronavirus emergency fund received extensive support from the SAARC members, sans Pakistan.

India is at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and has gifted covid vaccines to countries including Bangladesh with 20 lakhs doses, Myanmar with 17 lakhs doses, Nepal with 10 lakhs, Bhutan with 1.5 lakhs, the Maldives with 1 lakh, Mauritius with 1 lakh, Seychelles with 50000, Sri Lanka with 5 lakhs and Afghanistan with 5 lakhs among others.

SAARC groups together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The last time that the leaders of SAARC nations had shared a platform was in November 2014 when Nepal hosted a SAARC leaders’ summit.


The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded in Dhaka on 8 December 1985 while its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia.

Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 4.21% (US$3.67 trillion) of the global economy, as of 2019.