Modi appeals to citizens to adhere to lockdown, apologises for inconvenience caused to many people
New Delhi, March 29, 2020
Appealing to the people to adhere to the countrywide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today apologised for the tough decision that may have caused inconvenience to many.
However, the battle against the pandemic that was threatening every nation, required some tough decisions like the lockdown, the Prime Minister said in his monthly “Mann ki Baat” address over All India Radio (AIR).
it was important to keep the people of India safe, he said and expressed confidence that together India will defeat COVID-19.
“The lockdown will keep the people as well as their families safe and those who are not following the rule of isolation will be in trouble,” he cautioned.
“In a country of 130 crore people such as India, there was no other option. Such strong measures were resorted to because it was a situation of life or death, looking at what the world was going through.
“It is posing a challenge to knowledge, science, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak alike. It is not confined to any nation's borders, nor does it make distinction of region or season,” he added.
Complying with the lockdown was not only for helping others but also a means to protect oneself. He urged the people to protect oneself and their family for the next many days and abide by the ‘Lakshman Rekha’.
Announcing the lockdown on March 24 night, Modi had appealed to the people not to cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ out their homes from midnight for the next 21 days.
The Prime Minister regretted that some people were violating the lockdown without trying to understand the gravity of the matter. “Unless everyone complies with the lockdown rules, it would be difficult to save ourselves from the scourge of the coronavirus,” he added.
Referring to the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel engaged in battling the virus he said, “In this war, there are many soldiers who are fighting the coronavirus, not in the confines of their homes but outside their homes. These are our frontline soldiers, especially our brothers and sisters on duty as nurses, doctors and paramedical staff. These are people who have defeated corona. Today, we shall draw inspiration from them.”
The Prime Minister, during the course of his address, also briefly interacted with two patients who had recovered after treatment at hospital as also with doctors.
Ramagampa Teja, an IT professional, said he had made a work-related visit to Dubai. On return, he developed a fever and a coronavirus test turned positive. He was admitted to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. He was discharged after 14 days.
Teja said the doctors and nurses used to talk to him regularly and instilled confidence of making a full recovery.
Ashok Kapoor from Agra said his two sons had gone to Italy along with his son-in-law to attend a shoe fair since they run a shoe factory in India.
The son-in-law, who stays in Delhi, feeling unwell went to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. After being tested positive, he was shifted to Safdurjung Hospital. The hospital officials called up to tell both sons to get the test and ultimately all family members also underwent COVID-19 test.
The next day, Ashok, 73, along with family members, his wife, both sons, son’s wife and 16-year-old grandson tested positive and were directed to proceed to Delhi for treatment.
They were taken in two ambulances to Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi. They were not charged any money for the transportation. The doctors also accompanied them all the way to Delhi and handed them over to doctors who were waiting at the gate at Safdarjung.
All six were given separate rooms. The rooms were good, had everything. They were at the hospital for 14 days. The doctors and staff were very helpful. Since everyone was fully covered in personal protection overalls, they could not make out if it was a doctor, nurse or ward boy. The patients obeyed their instructions and made a full recovery.
Modi told them to make audio and videos of their experiences and share it on TV channels and social media.
Dr Nitesh Gupta from Delhi said the doctors were also giving counselling to the patients to keep up their spirits and make fast recovery. They also visit them frequently within the space of three or four hours. The team is also kept motivated to work with a positive mindset.
Dr Borse, a Professor at B.J. Medical College, Pune said that at the Naidu Hospital run by the Municipal Corporation, a fully functional screening centre was functioning from January. Till date, 16 Covid -19 positive cases have been diagnosed. And out of those 16 cases, after due quarantine, isolation and treatment, 7 patients have been discharged.
But cases of the young population getting affected are coming to light. And despite that, the disease itself is not that serious a disease. Patients are successfully recovering. And those remaining 9 people are also going to be well.
People advised to go on home quarantine are told to observe a mandatory 6 feet distance from other family members, use a mask and wash hands frequently. While coughing or sneezing, a handkerchief is to be used so that droplets do not spread, or fall on the floor. They are also not supposed to leave home at all during the quarantine period, he added.