Prime Minister Narendra Modi while announcing a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020 had appealed to the countrymen with a phrase, “jaan hai to jahan hai”, emphasizing that saving lives from CoVID-19 is top priority. The lockdown which yielded results was to complete its 21 days today on April 14, 2020. Today, the Prime Minister once again addressed the nation and laid down the next plan of action, announcing the extension of the lockdown by another two weeks till May 3, 2020.
Lockdown has been extended till May 3, 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that all the states and citizens in large numbers wanted the lockdown to continue.
If the results are satisfactory, some relaxations shall be granted to districts post April 20. The intention behind the relaxation is primarily to ease the lives of daily workers and poor sections of the society. For this to happen, the hotspots need to contain the spread of the virus. There should not be any new hotspots by that time otherwise, as PM Modi warned, the measures may be tightened further.
Saptapadi- The Seven Guiding Points
Prime Minister Modi also announced the seven steps that the people have to follow during this lockdown. Calling it the Vijai ki Sapta Padi (Seven Steps to Victory), the seven measures delineated are as follows:
- Take care of senior citizens in your homes. Extra care for those elderly people with underlying acute illnesses
- Lockdown and social distancing should be followed. Wear homemade masks.
- Increase your immunity by following the suggestions put out by Ayush ministry.
- Download Arogya Setu mobile app and encourage others to do so.
- Take care of the poor families near you, provide food for them
- Don’t layoff; instead, strive to take care of your employees
- Honor the doctors, health workers and sanitation workers
Thanking People, Invoking Babasaheb Ambedkar
PM Narendra Modi said, “The fight against COVID-19 in India is going in the right direction. Because of the support of people, the losses have been significantly reduced. I know how many difficulties you have faced. But as a disciplined soldier you have fulfilled the duty. Our Constitution begins with the pledge ‘We the People of India’. The spirit is exactly this. This collective spirit is the real homage to Dr B R Ambedkar, who was born on this date.”
“Even though it is the festival season across the country, people have disciplined themselves to observe them at the confines of their home. This in itself is very encouraging and inspiring.”
India Acted Swiftly
PM Modi explained how India acted early compared to the global spread of Corona. He said, “India started screening of those coming from affected countries when the case number was zero. At hundred cases, quarantine was made mandatory for all who came from overseas. At 550 case we went ahead for a complete lockdown.”
Nations who didn’t act swiftly around the same time as the lockdown have since seen a 50% increase of cases within a short period of time, he noted.
Praise for Administration
Prime Minister lauded the state governments and local administrations, noting that they have put in their best efforts to contain the spread of the virus by implementing the lockdown in a proper manner. He said that it is undeniable that the nation has had to pay an economic price for the lockdown, but nothing is more valuable than the lives of the people.
He also highlighted that during the lockdown period, medical infrastructure has been ramped up rapidly, with 600 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across the nation and over 220 laboratories to test samples.
He also said that coordinating with the state governments, measures have been taken to ensure the harvest of Rabi crops with minimum difficulties to the farmers.