PM Modi
PM Modi
Ashok Bhaumik

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave his second speech addressing the nation about the pandemic that is the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Addressing that the entire nation will go into a lockdown starting at midnight tonight, the PM said, “The nation is going to take a very serios decision. Starting midnight, India will go to a complete lockdown. There will be a ban on venturing out of your homes."

No doubt, it will be affect the nation, the Prime Minister said.. “But saving the life of every Indian is my first priority, as it is for the Government of India, as well as state governments,” the PM said.

“I request you to stay wherever you are. The lockdown shall remain for 21 days,” he added.

The centre has meanwhile allocated Rs 15,000 crore for medical facilities. “This will be used to increase isolation wards, ICU beds, medical beds, and medical and paramedical manpower,” the PM said, adding that states have been working hard, along with the private sector to focus on the healthcare sector.

In his speech, PM Modi added, “I’ve once again to talk to you about the pandemic that is coronavirus. On March 22, we had taken the pledge of Janta curfew, which we as a nation fulfilled with the responsible contribution of each Indian.”

We are taking all steps to ensure continuous essential supplies, the PM added. “It is a fact that this phase has brought a lot of plight amongst the poor. Central and state governments are doing to reduce the difficulties of the people

“Once the virus spreads, it’s difficult to stop it. This is why China, France, USA, Spain, Italy, Iran suffered when the virus spread in those countries. Remember, Italy and USA have some of the best considered healthcare services in the world, and they couldn’t mitigate the impact of coronavirus,” the PM added.

The citizens of these countries have adhered to their government directives, and are moving towards recovering from this pandemic. “We should also believe that this is the only way forward. We should not move out of homes. Stay at home. The only way we can save ourselves is if we don’t cross the boundaries of our homes,” the PM said.

He added, “In a crisis, all Indians come together to combat it. You all need to be admired for successfully executing the Janta Curfew.”

Adding that the world’s most empowered nations have become helpless in the face of this pandemic. “It is not that these nations are not making any efforts nor do they lack resources. But the virus is spreading so rapidly, that despite all their efforts, the virus continues spreading. Experts are saying that social distancing is the only option to battle coronavirus.”

If we have to spread corona, we have to break the cycle of infection. “Some people are under the misconception that social distancing is only for people suffering from COVID-19. It is for every citizen, every family and for every family member. It is also for the prime minister. This irresponsible attitude can risk the lives of family members, friends, and the nation,” the prime minister said, adding that this could impact the country greatly and we cannot even fathom how bad it can be.

PM Modi said that the 21-day lockdown was necessary, as if it wasn't implemented India would go back by 21 years. "Some of you are sharing innovative messages on social media. One banner Corona - Koi Road Par Na Nikale is one such innovative banner," said the PM showing a printout of the placard.

According to the WHO, one person can infect 100 people in a matter of week. “It spreads like wildfire. Another statistic put by the WHO is that it took 67 days to reach 1 lakh people. The next 1 lakh were affected 11 days. It took four days to take the number to 3 lakh,” the PM said, adding you can estimate how far it spreads.

While staying at home, remember those who are putting their lives at risk in the line of duty, the PM said while concluding his speech. “Remember doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, pathologists who are working day and night in hospitals. Think of the hospital administration, ambulance drivers, ward boys, and sanitation workers who are serving others during these testing times. Keep a thought for those who are working to sanitise your neighbourhood. Thank the media professionals who are working 24 hours to give you correct information. Think of the cops who without worrying about your families are working round the clock on duty, and dealing with the anger of the people,” he said.

Notably, this is the second speech delivered by the prime minister. Last week, he addressed the nation about the dangers of stepping out, and the importance of social distancing at the time of the outbreak. He even called for a Janta Curfew, which was held on Sunday where everybody was encouraged to stay at home.

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