COVID-19: Kerala CM expresses gratitude towards health workers

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 23 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his gratitude towards the health workers and 'saluted their valiant efforts' in checking the spread of novel coronavirus.

In a release on Sunday, he said while the whole world was 'stunned by the unexpected scare of coronavirus', it was the health workers who left their near and dear ones to save lives.

Millions of people across the country stayed indoors on Sunday in an unprecedented and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 'Janta curfew' to help check the spread of coronavirus, coming out briefly at 5 pm to show gratitude to health and other essential service providers with sounds of bells, conches and claps.

'Health workers, who care for us in the face of every disaster, are fighting across the world and struggling for the survival of humanity. It's the continuous effort of doctors, nurses, lab/theatre technicians, attenders, cleaning staff, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, counsellors, health inspectors, ASHA workers and others that helped us to stay safe,' Vijayan said in a release.

He also praised the police, fire and safety, and the prison departments, and said the youth, along with Kudumbashree workers, students and others have shown the way to fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

'We have a long way to go in this fight against COVID-19. We will fight our way from this virus scare with everyone's support. I salute each one of you,' the Kerala chief minister said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, police and fire personnel and locals clapped in support of the health workers at 5 pm.

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to seven, while the total number of cases soared to 360 as fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country on Sunday, the Union Health Ministry said.

According to the ministry's data, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 67, including three foreigners, followed by Kerala at 52, including seven foreign nationals. PTI RRT NSD NSD