Think of frontline workers before removing masks in public, says PM

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) The threat of coronavirus is not yet over, cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday through his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio address. He said that before removing masks in public, Indians should think of frontline health workers who have been working diligently since March.

Modi reiterated that wearing a mask may be uncomfortable, but is it crucial to defeat the pandemic.

The Prime Minister also said that staying vigilant is extremely important to face the pandemic. He also cited efforts by sarpanchs in fighting this health crisis.

"During COVID-19 pandemic, a sarpanch of Trewa in Jammu Balbir Kaur, built a 30-bed quarantine bed in her panchayat. Similarly, Jaituna Begum of Chountliwar in Ganderbal resolved that her panchayat will fight coronavirus and also create employment opportunities," Modi said, while praising their efforts.

"Today, COVID-19 recovery rate in our country is better than others. Our fatality rate is much less than in most other nations. We are able to save the lives of lakhs of people. But, the threat of coronavirus is not over, as yet. It is spreading fast across many areas. We need to remain vigilant," the Prime Minister said.

While India is putting in all its efforts to prepare a vaccine for the cure of the deadly coronavirus, India's COVID-19 tally has gone beyond a total of 13.8 lakh cases.

Modi asked fellow Indians to take a pledge to attain independence from the pandemic, this coming Independence Day, on August 15.