Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday evening on the situation arising out of coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to combat it, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Wednesday.
“The PM will address the nation on March 19, 2020, at 8 pm, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it,” the PMO tweeted. In another tweet, the PMO said Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“Ways to further strengthen India's preparedness were discussed. This includes further enhancing testing facilities,” it said. The prime minister has emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations in chalking out mechanisms to fight the coronavirus menace.
He has also urged officials and technical experts to deliberate on the steps to be taken next. The prime minister has been regularly taking to social media, urging people to prepare themselves but not panic. He has supported the idea of avoiding non-essential travel and limiting gatherings to check the spread of the virus.
Modi has also expressed gratitude to all those at the forefront of combating coronavirus including the various state governments, medical fraternity, paramedical staff, armed and paramilitary forces, those associated with aviation sector, municipal staff and others. Earlier this week, he participated in a video conference of SAARC leaders to prepare a joint strategy to tackle the pandemic.
The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 151 in the country on Wednesday. The government had on Tuesday banned the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India with immediate effect, according to an additional travel advisory. This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till March 31 and will be reviewed subsequently.
The government has also banned the entry of passengers from the European Union countries, Turkey and the United Kingdom from March 18 till 31 to check the spread of the virus.
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