‘Social distancing is the only way’: PM Modi appeals to people in fight against coronavirus
All districts in as many as 32 states and Union territories (UTs) have completely shut down, barring the delivery of essential services.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 20:33 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to follow social distancing on Tuesday, in his second address to the nation in less than a week, as the coronavirus-related disease cases and deaths mounted with more than 500 people infected and nine killed across the country.
More than a billion people, or nearly 90% of India’s population, are under lockdown as of Tuesday evening with authorities imposing unprecedented measures, including stringent travel restrictions, to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
All districts in as many as 32 states and Union territories (UTs) have completely shut down, barring the delivery of essential services.
“Experts are saying that social distancing is the only way to deal with the coronavirus crisis across the globe. There is no other way to deal with coronavirus and we need to save ourselves. And we have to break the cycle of its infection,” the Prime Minister said.
He called out people to remove all doubts about who has to follow the practice of social distancing.
“Some people are under the impression that social distancing is only for Covid-19 patients — it is for every member of the family and even the prime minister. And the wrong impressions and thoughts can bring a lot of trouble to their families, friends and the even the entire country,” he said.
“People will have to pay dearly and it will unimaginable,” he warned.
The Prime Minister had tweeted earlier in the day that he will address the country on the fast-spreading disease with flu-like symptoms to “share some important things”.
In a television address last Thursday, Modi highlighted the threat posed by the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes the disease, and appealed to people to practise social distancing and work from home. He had also asked Indians to take a pledge to keep themselves and others in the society safe.
He had requested citizens to observe a Janta Curfew (people’s curfew), which was in place for 14 hours on Sunday - from 7 am to 9 pm. And, people stayed off the roads and public places during this period.
Since then, India has announced unprecedented restrictions, including travel curbs, to stop the infection. As many as 32 states and Union Territories, including Delhi, are under complete lockdown.
On Monday, Modi appealed to state governments to ensure the adherence to the unprecedented measures announced in several parts of the country, saying that many people are still not taking the situation seriously.
And then, again on Twitter, Modi said he called upon industry leaders to continue following the work-from-home order as much as possible.
The Prime Minister had also expressed concern in a tweet that many were not taking the lockdown seriously.
“Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request state governments to ensure rules and laws are followed,” he had tweeted in Hindi.