New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar apprised BRICS Foreign Ministers about early steps taken by India to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Tuesday. Also Read - Coronavirus: Mike Pompeo Discusses Availability of Medicines with S Jaishankar

Today, notably, the EAM attended a meeting of Foreign Ministers of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations through videoconference, over the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - ‘Working on Bilateral Efforts With China to Fight COVID-19 Together,’ Says Jaishankar

In its statement, the ministry said, “EAM highlighted initiatives taken early by India in wake of COVID-19, including Aarogya Setu Citizen App and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package. He highlighted that much before COVID-19 was declared public health emergency of international concern by WHO, India instituted measures to check it.”

The ministry further said that the EAM apprised the BRICS Foreign Ministers about the initiative to coordinate efforts to contain COVID-19 in South Asia, and the creation of COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund by the SAARC countries.

“India is providing pharma assistance to nearly 85 nations, including many countries in Africa, on a grant basis, to support their response to the pandemic. This has been widely welcomed,” the MEA statement further stated.

BRICS, notably, was formed in 2009 with Brazil, Russia, India and China as its founding members. South Africa was inducted as a member in 2010.

India, in the last 24 hours, registered its highest 24-hour tally of 1,594 coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 29,974, including 937 deaths and 7,027 patients who were cured/