Saudi Arabia announced on March 17, 2020 that it will convene a virtual summit of the G20 nations next week to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia is the current chair of the Group of 20 major economies.
The extraordinary virtual summit will bring together leaders of all the G-20 nations on a common platform. The date of the summit is yet not specified.
The statement from the Saudi secretariat read that the G20 leaders will be putting forward a coordinated set of policies aimed at protecting the people and safeguarding the global economy.
G-20 leader’s virtual summit
• Saudi Arabia has proposed to convene the virtual G20 summit to advance a coordinated response to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.
• The G20 will act, alongside international organizations, in any way deemed necessary to lessen the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
• The summit is expected to build on the current efforts being undertaken by the G20 Finance Ministers, central bank governors and senior trade, foreign affairs and health officials to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
• Saudi Arabia, which is the chair, is expected to continue its support to the international efforts to counter the impact of the pandemic, both in terms of stopping its further spread and reducing its economic impact.
Saudi Arabia in its efforts has banned Friday congregations and customary daily prayers in the mosques as an emergency move to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The nation has also imposed a ban on all international flights and canceled the Umrah pilgrimage. All educational institutions in the nation have also been closed as a preventive measure.
The coronavirus has spread to nations in the middle east with Iran being the epicentre with over 16000 confirmed cases, around 5389 recoveries and 988 deaths. As of March 18, Saudi Arabia has reported 171 cases, Qatar has reported 444 positive cases, Bahrain has reported 241 cases, Kuwait has reported 142 cases and UAE has reported a total of 113 cases.