Mann Ki Baat: India’s fight against coronavirus people-driven, says PM Modi

PM Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat address, said that the masks will become a new symbol of civilised society in the times to come. He also lauded the state governments for their proactive role in tackling the Covid-19 situation

Stating that India’s fight against the novel coronavirus had become “people-driven”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said citizens should pray more than ever this Ramzan so that the world was rid of Covid-19 before Eid celebrations. Addressing his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, PM Modi said the pandemic had changed the way people celebrate festivals in the country.

“When last Ramzan was celebrated, nobody could have thought of such a situation to arise. Now that the menace is already spread all over the world, we should make this Ramzan a symbol of restraint, good thoughts, empathy and support towards others,” PM Modi said in his nearly 30-minute address.

PM Modi also opined that the masks would become a new symbol of civilised society in the times to come. “Due to Covid-19, masks are becoming a part of our lives. It doesn’t mean that all of those who are wearing are sick. Masks will become a new symbol of a civilised society. If you want to protect yourself and others from the disease, the use of a mask is important,” PM Modi said.

With the government supplying hydroxychloroquine, the drug that has garnered global interest in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19, to 13 countries, PM Modi said the decision was guided by its ethos. “We are proud that we could do this work of humanity in sync with India’s culture,” he said.

With more than a month into the lockdown, a measure to arrest the spread of coronavirus in India, the number of cases now stands at 26,496 with 824 fatalities in India.

PM Modi acknowledged that each citizen from various professions were contributing to the Covid-19 war in their own capacity. “In the middle of this pandemic, the farmers are ensuring that no one sleeps hungry in our country. Each person is fighting this war as per their capacity. Some are waiving off house rent, also some labourers who are in quarantine at a school are whitewashing the school among others,” he said.

PM Modi, who had earlier called medics ‘Gods in white coats’, said stricter laws had been introduced to ensure action against those indulging in violence against healthcare staff. “Health staff including, doctors, nurses, paramedics are the front-line warriors against the pandemic. Hence, such a step was necessary for their protection,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi also lauded the state governments for their proactive role in tackling the Covid-19 situation in their respective states. The PM also mentioned about a digital platform the Centre had created to garner support.

“We have created a digital platform ‘’ — volunteers of social organisations, civil society and local administration are connected through this platform. About 1.25 crore people, including doctors, nurses, NCC cadets among others have already joined this platform. You can also join the fight as a Covid warrior by logging in to the site,” PM Modi said.

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