Coronavirus: Restraint key in combating COVID-19, says PM Modi

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PM Narendra Modicoronavirus address LIVE Updates:Stating that COVID-19 has engulfed the entire human race, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said there was no room to get complacent on the novel coronavirus. His address comes as the total number of cases has swelled to 173, including 19 who have recovered and four deaths.

“In this situation, when there is no medicine for this disease, it is very important to keep ourselves healthy.
Abstinence is necessary to avoid this disease and to keep oneself healthy,” the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation. “And what is the way of restraint – avoid the crowd, avoid getting out of the house. Nowadays, which is being called Social Distancing, in this era of Corona global epidemic. This is very important.”

PM Modi, who has held several review meetings since last month, has stressed on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations to check COVID-19. He has also expressed his gratitude to all those at the forefront of combating the virus, including state governments, the medical fraternity, paramedical staff, armed and paramilitary forces, and aviation and municipal staff.

“Our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers are putting great efforts. They are out there, helping people. We will always cherish their contribution,” PM Modi had said.

PM Modi also told his party MPs not to panic but visit their respective constituencies on weekends to create awareness about the pandemic as well as the steps being taken to check it.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister took to Twitter to interact with people on their experiences and preventive measures being taken on coronavirus while launching a “COVID-19 Solution Challenge” to find a “technology-driven” remedy for the pandemic. The winner will get Rs 1 lakh as prize money.

PM Modi also held a SAARC leaders summit via video-conference to discuss the way forward to fight the coronavirus pandemic and proposed the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund, for which it committed “an initial offer of US$ 10 million”.

“It is clear that we have to work together. We can respond best by coming together not growing apart, collaboration, not confusion, preparation not panic,” said Modi.

So far, the Centre has decided to suspend all visas, barring select categories, till April 15, effectively closing its borders for a month. The Centre also advised all states and Union territories to invoke provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which will enable them to enforce advisories as and when needed.

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