New Delhi: In the 66th edition of the monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday talked about India’s fight against coronavirus and said that coronavirus is still as dangerous as it was in the beginning. PM Modi further urged the citizens to take a pledge of freedom from the pandemic on August 15, when the country celebrates Independence Day. Addressing the nation, PM Modi said, “This year, August 15 celebrations too will be done in very different circumstances – in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I urge the youth, the people of my country to take a pledge of freedom from the pandemic this Independence Day. Take a resolve for a self-reliant India, a resolve to learn and teach something new and a resolve to earnestly carry out our duties.”
In the wake of coronavirus pandemic in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have also issued guidelines for Independence Day celebrations in India on August 15. MHA has asked states and Union Territories to avoid large congregations this year, but make efforts to invite COVID-19 warriors and some persons cured of infection at the ceremonies.
Talking about the country, which is among the worst-hit in terms of coronavirus outbreak, PM Modi said,
The way the country fought against Corona unitedly, has proven many apprehensions wrong. Today, the recovery rate in our country is better compared to other countries; the mortality rate is much less as well, compared to most of the other countries. Of course, the loss of even one life is saddening, but India has also succeeded in saving the lives of millions of people. But, the hazards of coronavirus are far from being over. At many places, it is spreading fast. We need to be extra vigilant. We have to bear in mind that coronavirus is as fatal today as it was in the beginning – that’s why we have to be fully cautioned. Wearing a face mask, using a gamchcha or a light towel to cover, two-yard distancing, frequently washing hands, avoiding spitting anywhere, taking full precautions in terms of hygiene and sanitation – these are our weapons to protect us from the highly contagious virus.
Giving advice to those who feel “tired” of wearing a mask all day, he said, “Sometimes we have problems with masks. Some people remove masks while speaking. Whenever you feel like removing masks, just think about doctors and other COVID warriors who are fighting corona battle wearing these masks for hours.”
PM Modi also shared examples of coronavirus warriors and praised two volunteers for their novel ways to curb the spread of the virus. Sharing examples, he said,
Many examples of effective endeavours on part of local residents of villages and Gram Panchayats are coming to the fore. In Jammu, there is a Gram Panchayat named Gram Treva. The sarpanch there is Balbir Kaur. I am told that Balbir Kaur got a 30-bed Quarantine Centre constructed in her Panchayat. She also made arrangements for availability of water on roads leading to the Panchayat. She ensured that people did not have to face any problem with washing hands. Not just that Balbir Kaur, with a spray pump slung on her shoulder, embarks upon sanitization of the entire Panchayat and its neighbourhood, along with volunteers. Similarly, there is a Kashmiri woman sarpanch – Zaitoona Begum of Chauntliwaar, Gaanderbal. Zaitoona Begum decided that her Panchayat would fight the battle against Corona and along with that, create income opportunities too. She distributed free masks & free ration in the vicinity; at the same time she distributed crop seeds and apple saplings so that people were not subjected to inconvenience in farming & horticulture.
With a message, PM Modi signed off the Mann Ki Baat address and said, “We have to fight the battle against coronavirus with full awareness and vigilance. Whatever our responsibilities are, through sheer perseverance – business, jobs or studies, we have to lend pace to it, taking it to greater heights, even in these tough times.”
On Monday morning, the number of coronavirus cases in India surpassed 14 lakh mark after a record spike of 49,931 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The health ministry also added that 708 COVID-19 patients died since yesterday, taking the total number of COVID-linked deaths to 32,771. The country’s coronavirus tally stood at 14,35,453 as of July 27. More than 9.1 lakh patients have recovered so far and the country’s recovery rate stood at 63.92 per cent this morning. The positivity rate – the percentage of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus – stood at 9.68 per cent.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
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