NEW DELHI :
The World Health Organisation (WHO) today praised the Narendra Modi government's "timely and tough" decision to extend the coronavirus lockdown across India to another three weeks till May 3.
"World Health Organization commends India’s timely and tough actions to stop COVID19. It may be early to talk about results in numbers, but a six-week nationwide lock down to facilitate effective physical distancing, coupled with expansion of core public health measures such as detection, isolation and tracing contact of COVID19 positive people, would go a long way in arresting the virus spread," Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO, said in a statement issued here.
She said that despite huge and multiple challenges, India has been demonstrating unwavering commitment in its fight against the pandemic. "In these testing times, the action lies as much with the communities as with the authorities and the health workforce. It is indeed time for each and every one to contribute their best and together beat the virus," the WHO official said.
WHO executive director J Ryan had earlier praised India's tremendous capacity in fighting corona saying that it led the world in eradicating two pandemics -- small-pox and polio.
While announcing his decision to extend the 21-day lockdown till May 3, PM Modi said that when compared to other Covid affected big countries, India is now in a better position.
“A month, month and a half ago, several countries had been at par with India in terms of corona infection. But today, corona cases in those countries are 25 to 30 times than that of India. Thousands of people have tragically died in those countries. Had India not adopted a holistic and integrated approach, taking quick and decisive action; the situation in India today would have been completely different", PM Modi said explaining how India has benefitted from the lockdown.
When seen from an economic point of view, the lockdown, he said looks costly right now but measured against the lives of Indian citizens, there is no comparison. "The path that India has taken within our limited resources has become a topic of discussion in the entire world today," he said.