Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday hailed the people on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, including doctors and other health care workers, and decried incidents of misbehaviour with them.
In a video statement addressed to the people and which was put out hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation, Sonia Gandhi said that at this juncture, there cannot be a greater patriotism than taking part in the fight against COVID-19.
Sonia urged people to do their bit in this fight by adhering to social distancing and staying at home. "I hope all of you are adhering to the lockdown. Please stay at home and keep washing your hands. Do not step out of your homes unless extremely important, and when you do, cover your face with a mask or a scarf. Can there be a greater patriotism than taking part in the fight against COVID-19?" she said.
In the video address, which was in the nature of a pep talk, Sonia said at a difficult time like this, the people have to be thanked for maintaining calm and peace and for being patient. She said families have made sacrifices that cannot be forgotten. "Husbands, wives and children, mothers and fathers, they have all made sacrifices. Those who are at the front line of the fight are carrying on only because of your support. I do not have words to thank you," she said.
Sonia mentioned those involved in the fight against the coronavirus, including doctors, healthcare workers and members of organisations involved in social service, who were treating patients despite not having personal protection equipment.
Sonia also referred to the role played by the police and the security personnel in enforcing the lockdown as also the sanitation workers who were helping curb the spread of the viral infection. She said government officials were working day and night to ensure services reached the people.
"But without cooperation from all of us, this fight can weaken. We have to give them respect. At many places, there have been reports of doctors being misbehaved with. This is very wrong. This is not our culture. We have to support them," said the Congress president.
She commended the efforts of the people who are taking personal initiatives such as feeding the poor or distributing masks and sanitisers.
Sonia said the workers of the Congress party were there to help in the fight against coronavirus. She said control rooms have been set up by the party at the central level as also in the states, where people can get in touch for help.
"I want to assure you that the Congress party, irrespective of whether it is in government or in the opposition, it is standing with you in the fight against COVID," she said.