In his first Mann Ki Baat after India went into a 3-week nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the battle against COVID-19 is a tough one and it required harsh decisions to keep India safe.
"The battle against COVID-19 is a tough one and it did require such harsh decisions. It is important to keep the people of India safe. A disease must be dealt with at the very beginning as delay makes it incurable," said Prime Minister Modi.
"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."
He said as the coronavirus has put the entire world in lockdown, so "India is doing the same."
"It is a challenge before everyone, science and knowledge, poor and rich, powerful and weak. It is neither restricted to a nation nor region or particular weather. This virus is bent upon killing human beings, eliminating them. Hence all of us, the entire humanity, must unite and resolve to eliminate it," he added.
"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.
Modi reminded people that "we have to maintain social distance, not emotional and human distance" as he urged everyone to utilise the time spent at home in re-engaging themselves in old hobbies an reconnecting with old friends.
During his address to the nation on March 24, the Prime Minister had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly virus.