PM Narendra Modi imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24, the most far-reaching measure undertaken by any government to curb the spread of coronavirus
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought the nation's forgiveness for imposing a monumental lockdown on the country, but said "we have to win ... and we will definitely win the battle" against the unprecedented menace of coronavirus that has claimed 25 lives in India so far.
In his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address to the nation, Modi also praised the front-line workers in the fight against the virus as well as countless workers in the essential services who are ensuring the country doesn't come to a complete standstill in the 21-day lockdown announced on March 24.
"I seek forgiveness .. I am sure you will forgive me that you had to undergo so much trouble. Some people will say what kind of Prime Minister is this but these are special circumstances. You had to undergo problems I understand but there is no other way out to fight the coronavirus," he said. "But this is a battle for life and death."
"Coronavirus is bent on killing people therefore entire humanity must unite and resolve to eliminate it," he said in the address that lasted more than 30 minutes and featured two former coronavirus patients and a doctor.
"I understand your troubles, but there was no other way to wage a war against corona for a country like India with 1.3 billion population. It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it and, therefore, such strong measures were absolutely necessary," Modi said.
The Prime Minister further said that "nobody likes to take such strong measures, but after looking at the situation all over the world it seems this is the only option to keep you and your family protected."
Modi reminded people "We have to maintain social distance, not emotional and human distance" as he urged people to utilise the time spent at home in re-engaging themselves in old hobbies and reconnecting with old friends.
With PTI Inputs
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Last Updated 29, Mar 2020, 2:32 PM