The mass felicitation witnessed Indians across the nation who heeded Modi’s call for the Janata curfew to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic to applaud and ring bells in honour of the healthcare staff manning the front line of the fight against coronavirus. “The country thanked each person who led the fight against the coronavirus,” Modi tweeted, adding “many thanks to the countrymen.”
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan added to the celebrations, tweeting “STANDING OVATION to lakhs of #coronawarriors who are selflessly leading the battle against #coronavirus These are our heroes who’re risking their lives so we all #StaySafe.” He expressed thanks to Modi for taking the lead on the Janata Curfew and promoting social distancing as a protective measure against the coronavirus.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) lauded the show of support for healthcare workers and expressed gratitude to Modi. “The IMA on behalf of all its members appreciates your gesture of motivating the public to show gratitude towards doctors, nurses and healthcare workers of the nation who are tirelessly risking their lives to contain the disease,” it said in the letter to the Prime Minister. “We promise not to let down the nation in this fight for survival along with the government.”
“It is the sound of thanks, but also the beginning of victory in a long battle,” Modi said of the cheers for the country’s healthcare workers. “Let us, with this determination, tie ourselves in social distancing for a long battle with this restraint.”
Social distancing is of great importance in fighting COVID-19, as Modi acknowledged. “Janata curfew will end at 9pm but it doesn’t mean we should start celebrating,” he said towards the end of the day. “It’s the beginning of a long battle. People shouldn’t come out of houses in states which have announced a lockdown. In the rest of the states, if it is not very important, don’t come out of your houses.”