KATHMANDU: Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday agreed to enhance cooperation to further intensify the fight against the coronavirus and underlined the need of taking care of the citizens left stranded in each other's country due to the lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Oli and Modi held a telephone conversation to discuss the situation due to coronavirus pandemic.
"We have agreed to enhance cooperation to further intensify the fight against corona virus," Prime Minister Oli tweeted after the conversation.
"We stressed the need on taking care of each other's citizens that are left stranded along the bordering areas due to the lockdown imposed in both the countries," Oli said.
Hundreds of Nepalese, mostly migrant workers, are stranded along Nepal's border with India due to the lockdown over coronavirus.
The workers, mostly from western Nepal, were employed in various sectors across India and were trying to return home.
As the government imposed nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, they have been left stranded along the border.
The two leaders also discussed continuing the supplies of goods and making it further smooth.
"I expressed gratitude to the Indian government for providing various helps including medicines," Oli added.
Prime Minister Modi in a tweet said that he discussed the prevailing situation arising due to COVID-19 with Nepali Prime Minister.
"I appreciate the determination of people of Nepal to fight this challenge. We stand in solidarity with Nepal in our common fight against COVID-19," he said.
In a press statement, Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the two prime ministers discussed the present situation in the fight against COVID-19 and agreed to further intensify the ongoing efforts.
In the context of present state of lockdown in both the countries, "the two prime ministers agreed to look after the welfare and medical care of the people of two countries currently living in each other's territory," according to the foreign ministry.
"The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction on the smooth supply of essential goods across the border and underlined the need for ensuring its continuity in the present situation," it said.
Prime Minister Oli extended sincere condolences to the government and people of India as well as to the bereaved family members of those who lost lives due to the coronavirus in India, reads the press statement.
"During the conversation, the two prime ministers also touched upon the multi-dimensional friendly relations existing between the two countries and stressed on further consolidating and strengthening the relations for mutual benefit," the statement said.
The death toll in India due to the novel coronavirus rose to 199 and the number of cases climbed to 6,412 in the country on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry in New Delhi.
Nepal has till now has reported only nine positive cases.