Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday evening on the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to combat it. The Prime Minister’s Office said that Modi’s address will be at 8 pm and he “will talk about issues relating to Covid-19 and the efforts to combat it".
The address will be broadcast live on CNN-News18 and can also be watched on the YouTube and Facebook pages of the Press Information Bureau.
While earlier there were rumours that the PM may announce a virtual nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus, top government sources on Thursday said there would be no such announcement.
The government has already moved to close India’s borders, banning all international flights from landing in India for a week starting March 22 as the country reported its fourth death, a 72-year-old man in Punjab, and total confirmed cases rose to 173. Several states have also taken containment measures.
Modi had on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. "Ways to further strengthen India's preparedness were discussed. This includes further enhancing testing facilities," the PMO 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.