In his first ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address since he announced the COVID-19 lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised for “taking harsh steps that caused inconvenience to common man”, and called the fight against COVID-19 a battle of life and death.
In a tweet, ahead of his radio address, he had mentioned that he will specifically address the COVID-19 pandemic and its crippling effects.
PM Speaks to Indians Who Recovered From COVID-19
On this ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the PM had some guests – Indians who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered succesfully – share their thoughts with him. His first guest, an IT Professional, described his experience under quarantine.
"“I was kept in quarantine, and even after that, the doctors told me to stay in my room and self-quarantine.”" - Ramagampa Teja, IT Professional‘Fight Against Coronavirus a Battle of Life and Death’
The prime minister called the fight against COVID-19 a ‘battle of life and death’. He added that people were protecting themselves, not others, by following the lockdown.
"“I understand that no one wants to break rules deliberately, but there are some people who are doing so. To them, I will say that if they don’t follow this lockdown, it will be difficult to protect ourselves from the danger of coronavirus.” " - PM Modi‘Grateful to Doctors and Nurses Who Saved Us’
Other guests who joined PM Modi, like a certain Ashok Kapoor, also reiterated how they were treated by doctors and medical staff while they were under quarantine. They also added that they had told people around them to take the same precautions.
PM Modi urged everyone to take the same steps to stay safe.
‘All Of Us Are Upbeat’: Doctor On Mann Ki Baat
The PM was also joined by Dr Nitish Gupta, from Delhi, who described his experience on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. He said that the medical workers and staff were positive and upbeat, adding that they often have to reassure and comfort patients and those undergoing tests for COVID-19.
"“There are many soldiers who are fighting coronavirus, not from their homes but from outside their homes. These are our frontline soldiers – especially our brothers and sisters on duty as nurses, doctors and paramedical staff.”" - PM Modi'Hurt by People Misbehaving With Those in Quarantine’
The PM added that he was upset because of reports of people ostracising or otherwise attacking people in quarantine.
"“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‘Need to Strive to Prevent Collapse of India’s Healthcare System’
Modi also likened India’s situation to other countries, saying that this lockdown was essential to avoid overburdening India’s healthcare system to the point of collapse.
Apart from practising isolation, the doctors who joined Modi, also outlined the measures to practise while under home quarantine. This included cough etiquette and sanitation measures.
‘Salute Nurses and Doctors Striving Tirelessly Across India’
Modi also lauded nurses and doctors across India. He added that India should celebrate its nurses, and that India would celebrate 12 May, International Nurses’ Day with great fanfare this year.
More than 30,000 people have died worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic, two-thirds of them in Europe, according to an AFP tally on Saturday, 28 March.
India saw the highest jump in COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours ahead of this, with 185 patients testing positive for the virus. The total number of cases, as on Sunday, is 979, which includes 25 deaths, and 86 recoveries according to the Union Health Ministry.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 28 March, announced the constitution of the PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund for people who wanted to contribute to India’s fight against COVID-19.
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