On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation through his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio show, the first time since the nationwide lockdown began from Wednesday.
Five days into the three-week lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the need to enforce the restrictions, saying those who are violating the lockdown are “playing with their own life’.
Prime Minister Modi added, “This virus does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. Some people are still not understanding the seriousness of the situation. The battle against COVID-19 is a tough one and it did require such harsh decisions. It is important to keep the people of India safe.”
Apologising the nation for enforcing the lockdown, PM Modi said the tough measures were a necessity to fight the global epidemic COVID-19, which has killed thousands of people across the world.
“I am sure people of the country will forgive me for taking such a drastic step to lock down the country amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, as this is a battle between life and death, there was no other way out. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you.” said PM Modi as he began his address to the nation on Mann ki Baat.
PM Modi said there was a need to fight the illness before it takes its toll. “Coronavirus has imprisoned the world. It has affected all: old, young, weak and strong. The whole of humanity needs to come together and fight this crisis,” he added on.
Urging the citizens to strictly follow the rules of the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The lockdown has been put in place to protect you and your family. You have to be courageous and draw the “Lakshman Rekha”. There are many breaking lockdown rules. I request them not to do so, otherwise, we cannot win this war. Health is wealth and when people break the rules, they are putting their health at risk. There are many medical professionals who are fighting the virus.”
“I was extremely hurt when I came to know that some people are misbehaving with those who are being advised home quarantine. We need to be sensitive and understanding. Increase social distancing but reduce emotional distancing,” PM Modi expressed his disappointment over people roaming around streets despite the country is in total lockdown.
On Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his gratitude to the “foot soldiers” fighting the battle against coronavirus from the frontlines. “There are many soldiers who are fighting Coronavirus, not from their homes but from outside their homes. These are our front line soldiers, especially our brothers and sisters on duty as nurses, doctors and paramedical staff.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also interacted with doctors about COVID-19 and how they are treating patients. PM Modi said that doctors’ sacrifices remind him of ancient Hindu sage who said one who serves patients without financial motive is the real doctor.
Dr Nitish Gupta, speaking to PM Modi said that many hospitalised patients are scared after seeing news of death tolls in other countries and that they need counselling. Dr Borse from Pune told the Prime Minister that all patients in his hospital are recovering well.
PM Modi said “daily life heroes” such as sanitation and utility workers are ensuring that our daily lives are continuing smoothly. He has also hailed bank employees, grocers, e-commerce delivery personnel, people in the IT sector for helping India work during the lockdown.
The Chinese coronavirus, or COVID-19, the pandemic has spread across 190 countries. Sunday is the fifth day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown. The total number of reported active COVID-19 cases in India is 867. The Union Health Ministry has said that 87 people have recovered so far, but 25 have died.
Globally, there have been over 6.6 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 30,800 people have died so far. The US now has the highest number of cases, followed by Italy. Cases continue to surge in Europe.