Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Union government was taking measures to restart most economic activities, but added a note of caution that people cannot be complacent and must take more precautions against the coronavirus.

Social distancing, the use of masks and washing hands are not just important for personal safety and hygiene, but also a service to the country, Modi said in his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, after the Union home ministry issued guidelines on Saturday to restart economic activity in a phased manner.

“Covid-19 is very much there and we cannot be complacent. Keep fighting. Wear masks. Wash hands. Take all other precautions. Every life is precious,” Modi said.

The prime minister also emphasised that the road ahead in the fight against covid-19 was long, as the world was trying to tackle the spread of a disease it knows little about, and for which, there was no cure yet. Every Indian has played a part in the battle against covid-19, everyone has suffered losses and it was the collective will and strength of the people that minimised the number of deaths, he added.

“The last time I spoke to you on Mann Ki Baat, passenger trains, buses and air services were suspended, but this time curbs have been lifted. Shramik Special trains, other special trains and flights have resumed with adequate precautionary measures. A major part of the economy is active now. There should be no laxity in maintaining six feet distance, wearing masks and staying indoors as much as possible. We need to be more vigilant now.”

The fight against coronavirus is driven by the people of the country and it is the need of the hour to get the support of everyone in this battle, he said. “There is no section in our country that is unaffected by the difficulties caused by the disease. But the worst affected are the poor and the labourers. Their pain, their agony, and their ordeal can’t be expressed in words.”

The plight of migrant labourers, which was visible to all, gives the country the opportunity to assess what has happened in the past and the steps that need to be taken, the prime minister said. Eastern India suffered the most, and has the potential to be the growth engine of the country, and the workforce could take India to greater heights, the prime minister said.

“The progress of eastern parts of India is important not only for the region but also for the balanced economic development of the country. The Union government has continuously worked to give priority to the region from the day I was given the opportunity by the people. We have accomplished a lot in this direction but after seeing the plight of migrant labourers, it is now even more important to take fresh steps for the region.”

There was a natural calamity caused by the cyclone in West Bengal and Odisha, while several parts of the country were under attack from locusts, he said.

“I went to West Bengal and Odisha to take stock of situation after supercyclone Amphan hit the states. The cyclone destroyed many houses and trees and farmers suffered huge loss.” The entire country is standing with the people of the two states, and the central and state governments were also fighting against the damage caused by the locusts, he added.

News Source: Livemint


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