NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing 21-day-long lockdown with the people of his Los Sabha constituency Varanasi on Wednesday, through a video conferencing. He hoped that the 'war against Corona' can be won in the next 21 days.
"In this hour of crisis, Kashi can guide everyone, set an example for everyone," he said, adding that Kashi can teach restraint, coordination, sensitivity to the country.
"As your MP, I should have been among you at such a time. But you are also familiar with the activities happening here in Delhi," Modi said, but assured that he is constantly getting updates from his colleagues about Varanasi.
Hoping to address concerns from his constituents, he took a few questions as well.
As Prof. Krishna Kant Vajpayee asked about spreading social awareness for combating corona pandemic, Modi once again stressed on the need of social distancing.
However, on a positive note he said: "You should also keep in mind that more than 1 lakh people in the world, infected with corona, have been cured and dozens of people have come out of Corona in India too. It was only yesterday, I was seeing in news that in Italy, mothers over 90 years of age have also become healthy."
He also told India, through this video conferencing with his constituents, that for the correct and accurate information related to Corona, the government has created a helpdesk with Whatsapp.
To a question from social activist Mohini Jhanwar on issues facing health care workers and other front-line services staff and officials, Modi cited how the nation came out to applaud the courage of doctors on the day of 'Janata curfew' on Sunday.
"Doctors save lives and we can never repay their debt. Those people who led a rescue operation in Wuhan, I wrote to them. Those moments were very emotional for me."
However, he also cautioned about ill-treatment of doctors due to fear.
"I appeal to all citizens if any such activity is visible anywhere... If you see any ill-treatment with the doctor, nurse or medical staff, then you go there and explain to the people."
Modi also added such selfless individuals deserve public praise.
Textiles business man Akhilesh Khemka asked the Prime Minister about the livelihood concerns facing informal sector workers and less well-off sections of society, and Modi appealed: "Indians should be mindful of those in need, at this hour.
"Navratri has just started. If we take a pledge to help 9 poor families for the next 21 days, then nothing can be a bigger worship for the Goddess."
However, Modi said there is no point in whitewashing the threat, and urged Indians to help administration to cruise through the situation.
On Tuesday evening, PM Modi announced a 21 days nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.