New Delhi, April 3, 2020:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the nation to light candles and earthen lamps at 9 PM for nine minutes on April 5, Saturday to send out the message that none of the citizens are alone in the coronavirus battle.
“This Sunday on April 5, we have to challenge coronavirus. I need your nine minutes at 9 pm. Close the lights of your house. Light up a candle, lamp or use the mobile torch. This light will show that we are together in this battle,” said PM Modi said.
PM Modi also asked people to refrain from gathering in groups outside their houses. The Prime Minister’s message came a day after he held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all States and asked them to “formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered reemergence of the population once the lockdown ends” on April 14.
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In his address to the public on Friday, PM Modi stated that many were worried about how many days will this continue, PM Modi said, “While this is a lockdown, don’t think you are alone in this process. We are all together in this,” he said thanking the people for their cooperation.
It may be mentioned here that Modi on Thursday while interacting with Chief Ministers of States via video conferencing, discussed measures to combat COVID-19.
Prime Minister thanked the States for supporting the decision of lockdown due to which India has achieved some success in limiting the spread of COVID-19. He praised how all the States have worked together as a team to check the spread of the virus. He however forewarned that the global situation remains far from satisfactory and informed about speculations of a possible second wave of spread of the virus in some countries.
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Modi outlined that the common goal for the country is to ensure minimum loss of life. In the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus. He highlighted the necessity of maintaining supply of essential medical products, availability of raw material for manufacture of medicines and medical equipment. He said it is necessary to ensure availability of separate, dedicated hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients.
To increase the availability of doctors, he asked the States to tap into the resource pool of AYUSH doctors, organize online training and utilize para-medical staff, NCC and NSS volunteers.
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Underscoring the importance of coordinated action and the need to avoid overlaps in efforts of stakeholders, Modi talked about the need of setting up Crisis Management Groups at district level and appointment of District Surveillance Officers. He said that data must be taken from the accredited labs for testing – this will ensure congruence in data of district, state and centre. He said it is necessary to ensure staggered release of funds to the beneficiaries under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana to avoid crowding at banks.
Prime Minister said that it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once Lockdown ends. He asked the States to brainstorm and send suggestions for the exit strategy. He reiterated the importance of social distancing in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
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