Early global health warning from China was needed to deal with virus: Former FC Nirupama Rao to NM Editor in Chief Saurabh Shukla

In an exclusive interview with NewsMobile Editor in Chief Saurabh Shukla, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said that China should have been proactive in disseminating and sharing information related to the deadly Wuhan Virus, especially in a globalised world which is interconnected with trade and travel.

She said that an early warning issued would have equipped the world to deal with the outbreak of the virus in an effective manner.

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On the question of dealing with the effects of the virus, she opined that nations should enhance their testing abilities, provide protective devices and rigorously implement the practice of social distancing.

Rao said that the solutions will have to be both localised and globalised.

She praised the Ministry of External Affairs and Air India and Civil aviation authorities who have time and again been at the forefront of the crisis situations and have always put the national interest over self-interest.

The changing geopolitical characteristics were also mentioned. The former Diplomat said that while Defence and Strategic cooperation cannot be overlooked, especially the fight against terrorism, the emerging geopolitical traits will have to imbibe health systems and disease surveillance systems.

Rao also called for the adoption of the ‘New Delhi consensus’ which will inherently have the spirit of proactive cooperation and prevention of diseases globally and she also added that Indian foreign policy will be judged based on the outcomes it achieves on the grounds of economic development, human development and stability and that India can emerge as a ‘beacon of hope’ in the post-corona world.

She called on people to stay safe and stay indoors to defeat the spread of the virus.

Nirupama Rao became the second women Foreign Secretary in 2009 after Chokila Iyer.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Bangalore University and a Masters Degree in English Literature from Maratwada University.

In the year 1973, she topped the UPSC exam in both the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). She joined the former service and served the nation as its Ambassador to the US and China.

She has also served as the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

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