New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to enjoy the highest popularity among all democratic leaders in their combat against Wuhan or Coronavirus, according to a report in London-based 'Financial Times'.
The report also says that even though British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is himself afflicted by the virus and has been working from isolation, his ratings have gone up significantly. Modi enjoys some of the highest net approval of any world leader, with a 63 per cent positive rating. Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused the most number of infections in the US, and President Donald Trump's handling of the crisis has been criticised, through March 2020, Trump's popularity has improved. The US President's net approval stands at 49 per cent, with 44 per cent disapproving, as per the poll and this comes in a year when he is seeking re-election to the prized post.
While Modi tops the rank; he is followed by Mexico's Andrés Manuel López Obrador. India has pursued active diplomatic efforts amid coronavirus pandemic with PM Modi leading the charge on several fronts were interacting with world leaders.
In recent times, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke over the phone to discuss a coordinated effort by both the democracies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports also say 42,000 lives have been lost globally. S. Jaishankar also requested the US Secretary of State to extend visas of Indian students and professionals in the US in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
In recent times, Prime Minister Modi has spoken to a galaxy of world leaders. During their telephone talk on April 1, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Prime Minister, assured PM Modi that his country much values the contributions of the large Indian community in Kuwait, and "would continue to ensure their safety and welfare in the present situation".
Modi made the announcements during a video-conference with Saarc leaders that he had proposed amid rising cases of the disease in the region, India’s offer was welcomed by all Saarc leaders. The Indian PM suggested that nodal experts of all Saarc states meet in a week’s time by video-conference to take forward the ideas exchanged at Saarc video discussion. “We can respond best by coming together, not growing apart--collaboration not confusion, preparation not panic,” he said after the leaders of six countries and Pakistan’s health minister presented their views on challenges in their respective countries and their preparedness to combat the disease said PM Modi at saarc discussion which was appreciated by the representatives of all the nations.
The Prime Minister in his address on March 24 while announcing 21 day curfew said, “India is at a stage where our actions today will decide how much we can reduce the impact of this major disaster. It is time to strengthen our resolve again and again.” He added, “It is a time of patience and discipline. As long as there is a lockdown in the country, we have to keep our resolve, keep our oath.” Narendra Modi also repeatedly emphasized the gravity of the situation. “You have to remember that a Coronavirus infected person initially appears to be normal and doesn’t show symptoms. So maintain precautions and stay at home,” he said. “If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days, we will be pushed back 21 years,” which the whole country welcomed with full hearts and walking on the steps showed by PM, whereas Countries like USA and Italy have surrendered in front of Coronavirus and are still worrying about economy.
PM Modi apologises the nation in his Mann ki Baat on March 29, 2020 for taking these harsh steps, but also said these measures are needed to win this battle and I’m doing all these for my people, whereas in communist nation like China where strict warnings were given to the people but all their efforts went in vain as the death tolls risen to a huge number. This shows PM Modi’s highest popularity locally and globally in the fight against Wuhan.
Modi also interacted with French President Emmanuel Macron and held a video conference with heads of Indian missions. "Since this crisis also impacts upon the economy, PM advised Heads of Mission to also focus on ensuring that commerce in essential supplies, logistics chains, remittances and so on are unaffected, through their coordination with foreign partners," an MEA statement said. Prime Minister also urged them to continue to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, ten Heads of Mission, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to PM and the rest of the audience. "They shared feedback regarding appreciation in their countries of accreditation of the resolute measures taken by India to combat this pandemic," the statement said.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Indian diplomacy engine room has shown much proactive stance and plunged into actions helping stranded Indians from Wuhan and also Tehran and other places. There has been much appreciated for quick reflex in response and meticulous planning.