Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on combating the challenge of COVID-19. On the occasion of ‘Navratra’, Prime Minister made nine requests to the people.
Prime Minister said that patience and resolve of all Indians is vital in fighting the global pandemic which has wreaked havoc all over the world. He requested citizens to follow certain measures to ensure the containment of the fast spreading virus. He emphasized on the importance of not taking the pandemic lightly and the need to be aware and proactive towards prevention of COVID-19.
Prime Minister urged citizens to follow the mantra of “when we are healthy, the world is healthy”. He stressed on the importance of following self imposed norms like ‘social distancing’. Requesting citizens to patiently abide by the norm, he urged the need to isolate oneself and come out of the house only if imperative, while trying to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel. He also urged that senior citizens above the age of 60 should not come out of their homes for the coming few weeks. Highlighting the stress on the hospitals, he urged everyone to avoid routine check ups during this time and to extend the date of surgeries scheduled, wherever feasible.
Prime Minister urged citizens to follow the concept of ‘Janta Curfew’ on 22 March, 2020 from 7 AM to 9 PM, wherein no one apart from those involved with essential services is supposed to venture out of home. He said that the success of such a people’s movement and the experiences gained from it will prepare us for the challenges ahead. He added that our efforts on March 22, would be a symbol of our self restraint and determination to perform duty in the national interest.
Urging the state governments to take the lead, Prime Minister asked all youth organizations including NCC and NSS, civil societies to generate awareness among people about the ‘Janta Curfew’. He urged everyone to try to inform at least ten other people over phone about this self imposed curfew.
Thanking the selfless service providers
Prime Minister said that there are many brave people who are in the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic like medical staff, police, government servants, airline staff, media persons, bus/train/auto operators and those involved in providing home delivery.
To pay respects to their huge service to the nation during such trying times, Prime Minister suggested that on March 22 at 5 PM, all citizens should acknowledge and salute their efforts by standing in the balconies and at the doors of their houses and clap or ring bells for five minutes as a show of appreciation .
He urged the local government across the country to indicate the timing through blaring out a siren at 5 PM.
Meeting the Economic Challenges
To deal with the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, Prime Minister announced the creation of ‘COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force’ under the Union Finance Minister. The Task Force will consult stakeholders, take feedback, on the basis of which decisions will be taken to meet the challenges. The Task Force will also ensure implementation of the decisions taken to meet these challenges.
Prime Minister also urged the business community and higher income groups to look after the economic needs of those from lower income groups, from whom they take various services, urging them not to cut their salary on the days they are unable to render the services due to inability to come to the workplace. He stressed on the importance of humanity during such times.
He also assured the countrymen that there would not be any shortage of essential items like food, milk, medicines etc. He urged people to not resort to panic buying.
Prime Minister exhorted everyone to work together and contribute fully to overcome the crisis of COVID-19. He urged the citizens not to fall prey to misinformation. Prime Minister said that during the time of such a global pandemic, it is important to ensure that ‘humanity wins and India wins’.