Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today give his first Mann Ki Baat radio address during the three-week shutdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled several nations.
In a tweet on Saturday night, PM Modi said he will especially focus on the COVID-19 situation in today’s Mann Ki Baat.
“Tune in tomorrow at 11. Tomorrow’s episode will be focused on the situation prevailing due to COVID-19,” he tweeted.
Tune in tomorrow at 11.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 28, 2020
The country is under a full lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, a disease spread by a novel coronavirus that was first detected at a seafood market in China’s Wuhan in December last year.
Technically called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 or SARS-CoV-2, this coronavirus is called a “novel” to mean it is a virus that has not been previously identified in humans. The highly infectious disease mostly spreads through surface contact and respiratory droplets, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
All flights across the country except ones that carry essential cargoes have been stopped. The railways have also stopped operations and all inter-state movement is being monitored to allow only essential services such as groceries and medical supplies to pass through.
Unable to find transport, hundreds of people, especially daily wage workers and their families, have been seen walking for days with little food and water to reach their villages from the cities. Thousands were seen camping at a bus station in Delhi, waiting for a ride home, on Saturday night amid the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Incidents of police action on people walking hundreds of kilometres to their villages have been reported from Uttar Pradesh. While in some cases the police have apologised, others have offered meals and water to people walking homes.
The UP government on Saturday arranged for transport for migrant workers who wish to go back to their villages.