WHO lauds 'tough, timely' actions to check virus as lockdown gets extension

A medic wearing protective suits waits to cremate a COVID-19 patient during a nationwide lockdown, at Nigam Bodh Ghat in New Delhi. PTI
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday lauded "India's tough and timely actions" against the coronavirus after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a nationwide lockdown till May 3.

"It may be early to talk about results in numbers, but a six-week nationwide lockdown to facilitate effective physical distancing, coupled with the expansion of core public health measures such as detection, isolation and tracing contact of coronavirus positive people, would go a long way in arresting the virus spread," PTI quoted WHO's South-East Asia Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh as saying.

"Despite huge and multiple challenges, India has been demonstrating unwavering commitment in its fight against the pandemic," she said. "In these testing times, the action lies as much with the communities as with the authorities and the health workforce," she added.

"It is indeed time for each and everyone to contribute their best and together to beat the virus," Dr Singh said.

Modi on Tuesday said the implementation of the lockdown will be strictly ensured in the coming days to ensure that the virus does not spread to new areas. The prime minister said a detailed guideline on the implementation of the new lockdown will be announced on Wednesday.

Odisha has many firsts to its credit — announcing a lockdown and extending its tenure, setting up the country’s first 2 Covid-exclusive hospitals with combined bed strength of 1,000, and creating a hotspot zone. Photo: Twitter

He asked people to follow seven things in the coming days to help the government in its fight against the coronavirus. The seven things which the prime minister asked people to follow included taking care of the elderly as they are more prone to infection, keeping their faces covered while venturing out and taking care of the poor and the needy who have been affected by the lockdown.

" ... if we continue to be patient and follow rules, we will be able to defeat even a pandemic like coronavirus. With this faith and trust, I seek your support for 7 things," he said in his address to the nation. He further asked people to pay utmost respect to "Corona Warriors" doctors and nurses, sanitation workers and police force.

According to the Union Health Ministry figures, 339 people have died from the respiratory illness, while the number of infected cases has soared to 10,363 on Tuesday. 

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