Was lockdown possible in India if coronavirus had struck before 2014? Asks PM Modi
New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondered whether it would have been possible to impose lockdown in the country had the coronavirus hit before 2014.
Speaking at an event in Delhi, PM Modi said, "Imagine what would have happened had pandemic like Coronavirus broken out before 2014. Given the lack of toilets (in houses across rural India), could we have stopped the spread of virus? Could we have imposed lockdown in a situation where over 60% population was forced to open defecation?"
Claiming that the cleanliness drive in India played an important role to keep the infection spread controlled. "Swachhagrah has empowered us in the fight against COVID-19," said PM Modi.
Interacting with students at the launch, Modi urged them to follow social distancing norms and wear masks to put up resistance against the novel coronavirus.
He also announced a week-long campaign, ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’, starting from August 8 till August 15 to free the nation from garbage. The prime minister said the drive is to “honour swaraj (self-rule), meaning ‘gandagi Bharat choro saptah’ (garbage quit India week)”, and reminded that August 8 is the anniversary of Quit India Movement.
He urged the officials at the district level to build toilets in all the villages and to repair the existing facilities during the week. He said areas where migrant workers from other states are residing should get priority. “Together, we have to move forward … preparing compost out of dirt, water recycling, getting rid of single-use plastic,” he added.