New Delhi, March 25: Medical staff in the hospital are "God for us" amid the coronavirus outbreak, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his special address to the people of Varanasi on Wednesday. Modi appealed the listeners to exhibit respect towards doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals as they are working round the clock since the COVID-19 cases emerged in India. Stay tuned here for the live updates related to coronavirus outbreak in India and other parts of the world.
"These days, people in hospitals are working for around 18 hours per day. People in healthcare sector are not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep," Modi said, adding that entire nation must value the sacrifices being made by the medical staff. "We should salute such people who are serving society in this critical hour," he added.
Update by ANI
This country's common man believes in taking the right step at the right time. On 22 March, it was clearly seen how all the citizens supported #JanataCurfew and then at 5 PM, expressed gratitude for the professionals fulfilling their duties in essential services: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/VvYDjmLEI5
— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2020
Modi added the support shown towards the medical staff must not be restricted to the observance of janata curfew. The country must always respect the healthcare professionals as they are putting their lives on line to cure others. "It is part of our culture, our heritage to show utmost respect to the doctors and other medical personnel," he added.
Modi's address came a day after he announced the imposition of a national lockdown, which would remain in force till April 15. The next 21 days are the most crucial in the battle against coronavirus, the PM reiterated in his video-conference with citizens of Varanasi. ""Mahabharat war was won in 18 days, this war the whole country is fighting against coronavirus will take 21 days. Our aim is to win this war in 21 days," he said.
The imposition of lockdown is necessitated to reduce people-to-people interaction, which is the prime reason for the transmission of COVID-19 virus, Modi said. By the first day of lockdown in India, the number of coronavirus cases had rose to 562, while the death toll jumped to 11 with a woman succumbing to the infection in Madhya Pradesh.