Threat of coronavirus far from over: PM

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India’s COVID-19 recovery rate is better compared to other countries and its case fatality rate is much less as well, but the threat of the deadly virus is far from over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.

In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, he also said that at many places, the virus is spreading fast and people need to be extra vigilant. “The threat of the coronavirus is far from being over. At many places, it is spreading fast. We need to be extra vigilant. We have to bear in mind that the coronavirus is as fatal today as it was in the beginning. That is why we have to be fully cautious,” Modi said.

He said amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, India’s rural regions came up as beacons of guidance for the entire country.

Many examples of effective endeavours on part of local residents of villages and gram panchayats are coming to the fore, Modi said, giving the example of people who came forward to help others amid the health crisis.

“Over the last few months, the way the country fought against the coronavirus unitedly has proved many apprehensions wrong. Today, the recovery rate in our country is better compared to other countries. The mortality rate in the context of COVID-19 in our country is much less as well, compared to most countries,” the prime minister said.

“Of course, the loss of even one life is saddening, but India has also succeeded in saving the lives of lakhs of people,” Modi said.

Wearing a face mask, using a ‘gamchcha’ or a cloth to cover the face, two yards of distancing, frequently washing hands, avoiding spitting in public places and taking full care of hygiene and sanitation are our weapons to protect ourselves from the virus, he noted.

There are times, Modi said, when masks cause inconvenience and one feels like removing it, especially during a conversation.

“When a mask is required the most, we tend to remove it. At such times, I urge you that whenever you feel your mask is bothersome and you want to remove it, spare a thought for those doctors, nurses. You will find them wearing masks for hours together, diligently working to save our lives … Sometimes wearing masks for a span of eight to 10 hours. Doesn’t that discomfort them? Just think about them,” he said.

Once people think of ‘Corona Warriors’, they too will feel that as citizens, neither they should be negligent nor let others be so, the prime minister said. “On the one hand, we have to fight the battle against the coronavirus with full awareness and on the other, whatever our responsibilities, through sheer perseverance … business, jobs or studies … we have to lend pace to it, taking it to greater heights,” Modi said.