NEW DELHI :
Reiterating on the need for social distancing and staying at home during the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the entire country should come together to defeat the threat and spread of Coronavirus in the next 21 days.
Speaking to the people of Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, on the first day of the 21 days long lockdown, Modi said that it would not be true if we say that everything is fine. PM said that he was in touch with state government and has expressed that both union government and different state governments would together look after the need of people during lockdown. Modi said that people should come forward to help the police and administration instead of putting pressure on them unnecessarily.
"The war in Mahabharat continued for 18 days, we have win this war in 21 days. The entire country has come together to fight against the threat of Coronavirus and we will definitely win this war," said Modi while talking to residents of Varansi through video conferencing. This is the public engagement of Modi after the outbreak of Coronavirus and it happened on the first day of the lockdown.
Talking about the threat of Coronavirus, Modi said that he heard reports that some people were discriminating against doctors, nurses and medical staff who are at the forefront of the fight against Coronavirus, PM said that he has issued strict instructions to home ministry and director general of police (DGPs) in various states to take strict action against such people.
"I appeal to all the citizens, if you notice any incident where professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are ill-treated then you should take an initiative to make such people understand that they are wrong. I have told home ministry and DGPs to take strict action against those who are not supporting or not co-operating with doctors, nurses and other professionals who are serving us in this critical time," PM said.
Modi said that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are working in white uniforms in hospitals are like God for the entire country because they are trying to protect us from threat and spread of Coronavirus, they are saving us from the disease. Doctors are saving us by risking their own lives, PM said.
"These days, people in hospitals are working for around 18 hours per day, people in healthcare sector are not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep. Civil society members are working day and night to help poor. We should salute such people who are serving society in this critical hour," Modi added.
While answering a question about spread of Coronavirus in the country, Modi said that people should not believe in rumours and instead believe in facts. PM also appealed to people not to indulge in self-medication and instead consult doctors immediately.
"At times, people do not pay attention to things which are important. The same is happening in India. I request people to understand facts and not believe in rumours. COVID19 does not discriminate between the rich and poor. The threat is for everyone," PM Modi said.
Modi also said that people should come forward to help the poor and people of financially weaker sections who need help at the earliest. PM said everyone should ensure that daily wage earners and poor do not suffer because of the 21 day lockdown. Modi also appealed to people that everyone should at least help 9 people belonging to financially weaker section for the next 21 days.
"Coronavirus can be defeated through Karuna (compassion). Today is an auspicious because it is also the first day of Navratri. Whoever has the capability, take the pledge to take care of 9 families for 21 days, it will be a true Navratri. Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to people to take care of the animals around them," Modi said.