2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Asia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Asia
South Asia (excluding internal borders) (orthographic projection).svg
South Asia
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2[1]
LocationSouth Asia
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China[2]
Index caseKathmandu, Nepal
Arrival date5 January 2020
Confirmed cases6119 (including foreign nationals, as of April 4th)
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Official website
SAARC Disaster Management Centre

Countries and territories in South Asia have been affected by the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

The first country to report a confirmed case was Nepal which documented its first case on 24 January, in a man who had returned from China on 5 January. As of 29 March, at least one case of COVID-19 has been reported in every country in South Asia. Afghanistan has reported 120 cases with four deaths, Bangladesh has confirmed 48 cases with five deaths, Bhutan has reported four confirmed cases, India has confirmed 1024 cases and 27 deaths, Maldives has reported 16 cases, Nepal has confirmed five cases, Pakistan has reported at least 1526 confirmed cases with 13 deaths and Sri Lanka has confirmed 115 cases with one death. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Maldives have implemented partial lockdowns, Sri Lanka has responded with quarantine curfews while India and Nepal have declared a country-wide lockdown. Countries have also instituted various levels of restrictions on international travel, some countries have completely sealed off their land borders and grounded most international flights.

Governments are attempting to coordinate a response to the pandemic through the regional organisation, SAARC, the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation. India Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a joint emergency fund to tackle the pandemic, and pledged to seed US$10 Million. As of 25 March, Sri Lanka had contributed US$5 Million to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund while Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal had given more than $1 Million each.


The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).[3] The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019 and recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.[4] As of 29 March 2020, more than 708,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 190 countries and territories, resulting in approximately 33,500 deaths.[5] More than 150,000 people have since recovered.[5][6]

The virus primarily spreads between people in a way similar to influenza, via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing.[7][8][9] The time between exposure and symptom onset is typically five days, but may range from two to fourteen days.[9][10] Symptoms are most often fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath.[9][10] Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment, but research is ongoing. Efforts are aimed at managing symptoms and supportive therapy. Recommended preventive measures include handwashing, covering the mouth when coughing, maintaining distance from other people (particularly those who are unwell), and monitoring and self-isolation for fourteen days for people who suspect they are infected.[8][9][11]

South Asia is one of the most populous and least developed world regions, and is considered highly vulnerable to any large scale outbreak of an infectious disease.[12]



Map of provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Afghanistan (as of 29 March 2020)
  Confirmed cases reported
  Suspected cases reported

On 24 February, Afghanistan confirmed its first COVID-19 case, in a 35-year-old man from Herat province.[13] On 7 March, three new cases were confirmed in Herat.[14] On 10 March, the first case outside of Herat province, was reported in Samangan province,bringing the total to five.[15] By 22 March, the day Afghanistan confirmed its first official death, the total number of cases had risen to 40.[16][17][18] As of 29 March, a total of 120 cases had been confirmed, resulting in four deaths and three recoveries.[19][20][21]

Afghanistan temporarily closed its border with Iran on 23 February when first suspected cases emerged in Herat province bordering Iran.[22] In March, it restricted most international flights.[23] By the end of March, strict restrictions on the movement of people and public gatherings were in place in several provinces;[24][25][26][27][28] lockdowns had also been implemented, including in Kabul and Kandahar.[29]


The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Bangladesh on March 2020. The first three known cases were reported by the country's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on 7 March 2020.[30] As of 29 March 2020, the Government of Bangladesh has confirmed testing 1095 samples among which there is a total of 48 confirmed cases, 15 recoveries, and 5 deaths in the country.[31]

On 22 March, Bangladesh declared a 10-day shut down effective from March 26 to 4 April .[32]


On 6 March, Bhutan confirmed its first COVID-19 case, a 76-year-old US male who travelled to the country via India. Around 90 people who came directly in contact with him, along with his 59-year-old partner, driver, and guide were quarantined.[33] Bhutan immediately restricted entry of foreign tourists for two weeks.[33] On 20 March, the 59-year old partner of the American tourist tested positive for COVID-19.[34] Although the driver and guide tested negative, both were held in extended quarantine even though their quarantine period had ended.[35]

On 22 March, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the king of Bhutan, announced in a national address that the country's land borders would be sealed off.[36] On 24 March, the government closed all its borders with India.[37] On 25 March, a student who had returned from the United Kingdom was found to be positive for COVID-19, the third case in the country.[38] On 29 March, According to the Ministry of Health, a returning student in the quarantine facility tested positive. The patient was moved to the isolation ward in Thimphu.[39]


Map of the pandemic in India (as of 28 March)
  100+ confirmed cases
  50–99 confirmed cases
  10–49 confirmed cases
  1–9 confirmed cases

The first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in India was reported on 30 January 2020, originating from China. As of 6 April 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have confirmed a total of 1024 cases, 96 recoveries, 1 migration and 27 deaths in the country. Experts suggest the number of infections could be a substantial underestimate, as India's testing rates are among the lowest in the world.[40] The infection rate of COVID-19 in India is reported to be 1.7, significantly lower than in the worst affected countries.[41]

The outbreak has been declared an epidemic in more than a dozen states and union territories, where provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 have been invoked, and educational institutions and many commercial establishments have been shut down. India has suspended all tourist visas, as a majority of the confirmed cases were linked to other countries.[42]

On 22 March 2020, India observed a 14-hour voluntary public curfew at the insistence of the prime minister Narendra Modi. The government followed it up with lockdowns in 75 districts where COVID cases had occurred as well as all major cities.[43][44] Further, on 24 March, the prime minister ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, affecting the entire 1.3 billion population of India.[45] As of 1 April 2020 there have been 1,590 cases with 148 recovered and 45 died.


The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to the Maldives on 7 March 2020 from an Italian tourist who had returned to Italy after spending holidays in Kuredu Resort & Spa.[46] The Health Protection Agency of the Maldives confirmed two cases in the Maldives, both employees of the resort. Following this, the hotel was locked down with several tourists stranded on the island.[47] As of 11 March, the islands resorts of Kuredu, Vilamendhoo, Batalaa and Kuramathi island have also been placed under temporary quarantine.[48]

The Maldives declared a public health emergency over COVID-19 on 12 March.[49] On 27 March, the government announced the first confirmed case of a Maldivian citizen with COVID-19, a passenger who had returned from the United Kingdom. This brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 16; the other 15 were foreign citizens.[50]


Map of the outbreak in Nepal (as of 29 March)
  Confirmed cases reported

A Nepali student who had returned from Wuhan[51] became the first case of the country and South Asia on 24 January, after a sample sent to WHO Collaborating Centre Hong Kong.[52][53] He was discharged after his condition improved[54][55] and was told to quarantine himself at home. Another case was confirmed on March 23, 2020. A 19-year-old female who returned from France via Qatar was diagnosed positive of Corona Virus in Kathmandu, Nepal.[56] As of 29 March, three additional cases had been confirmed bringing the total to five, all in people who had recently returned from abroad.[57][58]

Land borders with India as well as China have been sealed off, and all international flights suspended.[59] All academic examinations were cancelled,[60][61] and schools and colleges were closed.[62] A country-wide lockdown came into effect on 24 March, and is scheduled to end on 8 April.[63]

Nepal cancelled its international promotional activities related to Visit Nepal Year 2020. Its economy is expected to be severely affected by the pandemic due its impact on foreign employment, tourism, manufacturing, construction and trade.[64]


Spread of the Coronavirus in Pakistan by 26 March 2020
  Confirmed cases reported
  Suspected cases reported

By the end of January, the Government of Pakistan began screening of passengers at airports in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar to prevent entry of coronavirus in the country.[65][66] Pakistan closed its borders with Iran on 23 February.[67]

The first case in the country was confirmed on 26 February. On 1 March, two more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Karachi and Islamabad, bringing the country's total to four.[68]

As of 19 march, 380 confirmed cases and 2 deaths had been reported.[69] On 20 March, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan jumped to 454 after Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa announced an increase in their provincial tallies.[70] As of 29 March 2020, the number of confirmed cases in the country was 1,526, with 28 recoveries and 13 deaths. Punjab region had the highest number of cases at over 500.[71] Several regions have been put under lockdown.[72]

Sri Lanka[edit]

As of 1 April 2020, 160 confirmed cases have been reported in the country with 5 death. The country is under "curfew" and a ban on foreign arrivals has been instituted at least until 30 April.[73]

As of 25 th March 2020 Sri Lankan authorities have tracked down over 21000 people who had contacted the identified patients and had ordered self quarantine for such people.

As the spread of covid19 government has banded all public events and all schools will be closed until May as a measure of preventing the spread of virus through out the country.

Health officials work hard to protect the patients from this desese.

Regional response[edit]

15 March conference call[edit]

On 13 March, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a joint regional response to the pandemic through the regional organisation, SAARC; the proposal was met with positive response.[74] A conference call was attended by heads of governments of all member states, except Pakistan which sent the special adviser to the Prime Minister, on 15 March. Modi's proposal to setup an emergency fund was agreed upon.[75] Modi also proposed creating a common research platform to coordinate research within the South Asia region,[76] while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proposed creating a common framework for telemedicine.[75]

SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund[edit]

On 15 March 2020, coinciding with the International Consumer Rights Day the emergency fund was proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference of SAARC heads of government from New Delhi as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.[77] The purpose of this fund is to tackle and mitigate the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic in the South Asian region. Other member nations welcomed the decision of Modi for the proposal of coronavirus emergency fund.[78]

India announced US$10 million as its initial contribution to support the initiative and Modi stated that the contributions for the fund from member countries would be voluntary.[79] As of 23 March 2020, the Emergency fund had accumulated sum of US$18.8 million with the pool of contributions from seven member countries except Pakistan.[80] Pakistan was sought to have gone for the consent with China over the SAARC fund.[81]

Bangladesh announced it would contribute US$1.5 million, Nepal and Afghanistan each announced that they would voluntarily contribute US$1 million.[82] On 23 March, Sri Lanka announced it would contribute US$5 million which was the second most highest contribution from a member country besides India.[83] Maldives announced it would contribute US$200, 000 while Bhutan announced it would contribute US$100, 000.[84][85]

Medical response coordination[edit]

The SAARC Disaster Management Centre later launched a website for information related to the pandemic in member countries, as proposed by Modi in the conference call.[76]

A video conference was held among health professional of all countries at the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) level on 26 March, to discuss a framework for cooperation as agreed in the 15 March conference. A shared electronic platform for sharing of information, knowledge and expertise was proposed.[86]


  1. ^ "Coronavirus disease named Covid-19". BBC News Online. 11 February 2020. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  2. ^ Sheikh, Knvul; Rabin, Roni Caryn (10 March 2020). "The Coronavirus: What Scientists Have Learned So Far". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Coronavirus disease 2019". World Health Organization. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ "WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020". World Health Organization. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Coronavirus Update (Live)". Worldometer. 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases". Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19" (PDF). World Health Organization. 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Q&A on coronaviruses". WHO.int. World Health Organization. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d "Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)". CDC.gov. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 10 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  10. ^ a b Rothan, H. A.; Byrareddy, S. N. (February 2020). "The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak". Journal of Autoimmunity: 102433. doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102433. PMID 32113704.
  11. ^ "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". CDC.gov. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  12. ^ Agrawal, Ravi. "South Asia's Looming Disaster". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  13. ^ "Afghanistan confirms first coronavirus case in province bordering Iran". Reuters. 24 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Afghanistan's confirmed coronavirus cases rises to four - health ministry spokesman". Reuters. 7 March 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  15. ^ "5 Positive Coronavirus Cases Reported in Afghanistan". TOLOnews. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  16. ^ "First Coronavirus Death Confirmed in Afghanistan". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  17. ^ "COVID-19: First Deaths In Afghanistan, Kosovo, Romania, North Macedonia". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  18. ^ "6 New COVID-19 Cases, 40 Total in Afghanistan". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  19. ^ "Doctors Ask Residents to Stay at Home amid Kabul Lockdown". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  20. ^ "Coronavirus Cases Reach 110 in Afghanistan". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  21. ^ "Health Minister Calls on Afghans to Take Coronavirus Seriously". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  22. ^ "Iran neighbours close their borders as coronavirus toll rises". France 24. 2020-02-23. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  23. ^ "Afghan Airlines Intl Flights 90% Halted: ACAA". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  24. ^ "Afghan Authorities Close Eastern City Of Jalalabad Due To Coronavirus Fears - Spokesman". UrduPoint. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  25. ^ "Afghanistan: Vendors in Jalalabad more afraid of poverty than coronavirus amid city lockdown". YouTube. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  26. ^ "COVID-19: Govt Limits Residents' Movement in Herat". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  27. ^ "Coronavirus: Herat emerges as Afghanistan's epicentre". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  28. ^ "Afghanistan Locks Down 'Gateway' City Of Coronavirus Outbreak". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  29. ^ "In Bid To Stop Coronavirus Spread, Afghanistan To Release Thousands of Inmates". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  30. ^ "Bangladesh confirms its first three cases of coronavirus". Reuters. 2020-03-08. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  31. ^ Research (IEDCR), Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and. "করোনা ইনফো". corona.gov.bd. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  32. ^ "Coronavirus: Bangladesh declares public holiday from March 26 to April 4". Dhaka Tribune. 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  33. ^ a b "Bhutan confirms first coronavirus case". The Economic Times. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  34. ^ Wangchuk, Kinga (22 March 2020). "Bhutan Confrms Second COVID-19 Case". The Journalist. Thimphu.
  35. ^ "Bhutan detects 2nd confirmed COVID-19 case". Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  36. ^ "Instagram post by Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema • Mar 23, 2020 at 3:10am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ Youten Tshedup (27 March 2020). "First Bhutanese to test positive for Covid-19". Kuensel. Thimphu. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  39. ^ @MoHBhutan (29 March 2020). "Update: 4th case" (Tweet). Retrieved 29 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ "Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown". BBC. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  41. ^ One COVID-19 positive infects 1.7 in India, lower than in hot zones, The Indian Express, 19 March 2020. "One reason for the relatively slow increase in the number of novel coronavirus patients in India, as of now, could be the fact that every infected person has been passing on the virus only to another 1.7 people on an average. This is remarkably lower than what has been observed in the worst-affected countries, a study by scientists at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows."
  42. ^ "India Suspends All Tourist Visas Till April 15 Over Coronavirus: 10 Facts". NDTV.com. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  43. ^ Helen Regan, Esha Mitra Swati Gupta, Millions in India under coronavirus lockdown as major cities restrict daily life, CNN, 23 March 2020
  44. ^ India locks down over 100 million people amid coronavirus fears, Al Jazeera, 23 March 2020.
  45. ^ India coronavirus: Modi announces 21-day nationwide lockdown, limiting movement of 1.4bn people, The Independent, 24 March 2020.
  46. ^ "Maldives confirms first two coronavirus cases; two resort islands locked down". The Economic Times. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  47. ^ CNN, Tamara Hardingham-Gill. "Tourists being kept under coronavirus quarantine at luxury Maldives resort". CNN. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  48. ^ "Coronavirus: Four Maldives resorts placed in lockdown". TTG. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  49. ^ "Maldives declares public health emergency over COVID-19". TTG. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  50. ^ "Maldives reports first domestic case of coronavirus, total tally rises to 16". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  51. ^ "Corona virus infection suspected in capital". The Himalayan Times. 18 January 2020. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  52. ^ Republica. "First case of coronavirus confirmed in Nepal : MoHP". My Republica. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  53. ^ "Nepal Reports South Asia's First Confirmed Case Of Deadly Coronavirus". NDTV.com. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  54. ^ "Nepal confirms first case of new coronavirus infection". Xinhua News Agency. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  55. ^ "First case of coronavirus in Nepal after student who returned from Wuhan tests positive". 24 January 2020.
  56. ^ "Second confirmed case of covid-19 in Nepal".
  57. ^ "COVID-19 fifth patient moved freely in her village for 5 days, got admitted to Dhaulagiri hospital 7 hours after being confirmed !". GorakhaPatra. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  58. ^ "Fifth person tests positive for COVID-19 in Nepal". The Himalayan Times. 2020-03-28. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  59. ^ "Government to close down border with India and China for a week". Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  60. ^ "Govt postpones all examinations till 12 April". GorakhaPatra. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  61. ^ Republica. "Amid COVID-19 fears, PSC halts scheduled exams until further notice". My Republica. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  62. ^ Republica. "Govt takes sweeping measures to contain spread of COVID-19". My Republica. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  63. ^ "Nationwide lockdown extended until April 8, ban on international flights until April 15". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  64. ^ "Govt to carry out impact assessment of coronavirus on economy". The Himalayan Times. 2020-03-06. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  65. ^ "Pakistan on high alert amid coronavirus outbreak in China". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  66. ^ Bhatti, Haseeb (23 January 2020). "Pakistan exercises caution as more cases of China's coronavirus surface in other countries". Dawn. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  67. ^ "Turkey and Pakistan close borders with Iran over coronavirus deaths | Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian". amp.theguardian.com.
  68. ^ "Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reaches 4 in Pakistan". The Nation. 1 March 2020. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  69. ^ "Coronavirus in Pakistan: total cases of COVID-19 in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta". www.geo.tv. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  70. ^ "March 19: Pakistan's coronavirus cases jump to 454". The Express Tribune. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  71. ^ "Coronavirus in Pakistan - Confirmed Cases". www.covid.gov.pk/. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  72. ^ "Pakistan continues to observe partial lockdown across country". The Nation. 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  73. ^ Mar 29, PTI | Updated:; 2020; Ist, 14:08. "Sri Lanka records first death due to coronavirus - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-03-30.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  74. ^ "Opinion | Will the coronavirus pandemic revive SAARC?". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  75. ^ a b Republica. "Video conference among SAARC leaders held to chalk out common strategy against COVID-19". My Republica. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  76. ^ a b "SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches website to share info on coronavirus". Deccan Herald. 2020-03-22. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  77. ^ Bureau, Our. "Covid-19: PM Modi proposes emergency SAARC fund; India to contribute $10 m". @businessline. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  78. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (2020-03-23). "India says it's 'encouraging' that SAARC leaders contributed to Covid-19 fund". Livemint. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  79. ^ "India to contribute $10 m for SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund". The Morning - Sri Lanka News. 2020-03-15. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  80. ^ "All countries except Pakistan commit to COVID-19 emergency fund". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  81. ^ Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy (2020-03-16). "PM Modi proposes emergency covid-19 fund for Saarc nations". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  82. ^ India, Press Trust of (2020-03-22). "Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan pledge $3.5 mn to SAARC COVID-19 Fund". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  83. ^ "Lanka pledges US$ 5 million to SAARC Coronavirus Fund". NewsIn.Asia. 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  84. ^ MaleMarch 21, Press Trust of India; March 21, 2020UPDATED:; Ist, 2020 14:25. "Maldives pledges USD 200,000 to SAARC Coronavirus Emergency Fund". India Today. Retrieved 2020-03-24.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  85. ^ "Maldives pledges $200,000 to SAARC Coronavirus Emergency Fund". The Hindu. PTI. 2020-03-21. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2020-03-24.CS1 maint: others (link)
  86. ^ Republica. "Health professionals of SAARC member states hold video conference to contain coronavirus". My Republica. Retrieved 2020-03-30.