New Delhi: As the world struggles to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to the people to shun the habit of spitting in public places.
Pointing out that it was a case of "better late than never", the Prime Minister said society has understood the negative impact of the spitting habit, which affects health and cleanliness of surroundings.
"We in India always knew that spitting in public places is wrong. Yet, it continued in places. Now is the best time to ensure we do not spit," Modi said in the 64th edition of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.
"This will increase basic hygiene and strengthen the fight against COVID-19."
The Prime Minister also stressed on wearing of face masks, saying "among the welcome changes in the post-coronavirus era is the awareness on the need to wear masks".
"A mask is something we will have to keep wearing in the times to come. It does not mean the person wearing a mask is unwell; it is just a wise precaution."
The Prime Minister's address came at a time when the entire country is under complete lockdown -- a measure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus which has so far claimed 824 lives and over 19,800 confirmed cases across the country.
Modi had announced a 21-day lockdown on March 24. On April 14, he extended the nationwide restrictions for another 19 days till May 3 in the backdrop of growing COVID-19 cases.