Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation, spelt out the government’s decisions and said the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus is extended till 3 May 2020.
PM Modi also paid tribute to Babasaheb Ambedkar on his 130 birth anniversary which coincidentally is today.
PM Modi’s address to the nation
The Prime Minister began his address by thanking the people on the frontline of the Covid-19 battle. He said that India is doing well in this battle to tackle the coronavirus.
People against coronavirus
The Prime Minister referred to the constitution and said that ‘We the People’ as written by Babasaheb Ambedkar in the constitution, are the ones who are facing this.
India a land of Festivals
India is a country of festivals, said the PM, referring to the various New Year festivals which are being marked across many states in the country.
He appreciated that, “In the shackles of lockdown, the people of the country are following the lockdown with utmost patience, and are celebrating with simplicity, which is highly inspiring”.
Earlier today he had tweeted, “Greetings to people across India on the various festivals being marked. May these festivals deepen the spirit of brotherhood in India. May they also bring joy and good health. May we get more strength to collectively fight the menace of COVID-19 in the times to come.”
India’s handling of COVID-19 outbreak
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has been able to curb the spread of Covid-19.
We had started screening at airports, even when we did not have even one case and we curtailed foreign travellers before cases reached 100 he stated. When India had 550 cases, it had started a 21-day lockdown he noted.
Comparatively thousands of people have died in other countries and if India had not carried out this integrated approach to tackling the coronavirus, the condition of country could have been unimaginable. “Thinking of it gives rise to goosebumps”, he said.
Social Distancing Measures
Social Distancing measures have paid off in this battle against the coronavirus, PM Modi said. Despite our limited resources we are doing this well in India he said.
Economically it is an expensive exercise to carry out, however it is necessary to save the lives of Indians.
PM Modi Praises the States’ efforts
The Prime Minister praised the states for their timely efforts. But he says that it is not yet time to let our guard down now.
The way Covid-19 is continuing to spread across the world is alarming and how will fight and win against the coronavirus pandemic with minimal troubles and limited economic impact is something we have to discuss with everyone and work together towards.
Extension of the Lockdown
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the lockdown has been extended till May 3, in order that the coronavirus is curbed at every level.
Even one person dying due to coronavirus is one too many. We will face problems if new hotspots spreading the virus surface despite our efforts, the PM said.
Clusters and hotspots have to be surveyed with greater vigilance and harsh steps might be needed to curb the spread of COVID19 he said.
Harsh steps over the next 6 days
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that harsh steps will be taken over the next 6 days upto April 20 to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the country. Hotspots will be carefully surveilled.
Conditional relaxation in some lockdown rules will be granted in some areas and will be case by case. However if even one case is reported, the relaxations will be revoked he said.
Detailed report and guidelines to be out tomorrow
A proper report on the lockdown and its measures will be issued tomorrow, said the PM. New guidelines will be made while keeping the daily wage workers and their interests in mind, he said.
Agricultural harvest and cutting of crops is on and measures will be taken to reduce the problems of workers in these and similar areas he said.
Health Infrastructure improved by leaps and bounds
The PM said that facilities are being added every day to help with the hospital infrastructure even within our limited resources.
- New labs have been set up,
- Number of hospital beds have increased,
- More than 600 hospitals are working for coronavirus treatment.
He requested young scientists to step up and come forward and help in creating a successful coronavirus vaccine.
PM Modi underlines 7 steps to victory in the COVID-19 battle
- Take care of elderly in your house, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Obey lockdown procedures – Follow social distancing, use masks, practice hygiene
- Improve immunity via the pointers given by Aayush Ministry
- Download and use Aarogya sethu app.
- Help as many poor families and feed them as possible
- Empathise and don’t retrench employees during this time period
- Respect and honour essential and healthcare workers
PM Modi also shared these 7 steps which he called ‘saptapadi’ in a series of tweets.
Be Very Vigilant
Prime Minister Modi ended his addresses by exhorting people to be very vigilant till the end of the extended coronavirus lockdown from now till May 3.
Tweeting right after his national address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked people to follow the lockdown till May 3 with utmost vigilance.
He wished everyone good health against this coronavirus menace.