Apologise for lockdown inconvenience: PM Modi in Mann ki Baat

"Tough decisions were necessary"


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 interviews with former coronavirus patients and a doctor.

Modi reminded people that "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 an reconnecting with old friends.

On the back of fresh deaths in Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, the coronavirus infection death toll in India rose to 25, the health ministry reported; 979 have currently been infected. In its updated data at 10am, the ministry stated that the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country was 867, while 86 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated. The total number of 979 cases in the country included 48 foreigners, the data stated.

-Inputs from PTI

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines