In view of the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will address the nation at 8 pm over issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it. Earlier on Wednesday, PM Modi chaired a meeting with senior officials to review the ongoing efforts to contain coronavirus pandemic in India. So far, India has over 170 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and has reported three deaths.
PM Shri @narendramodi will address the nation on 19th March 2020 at 8 PM, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 18, 2020
In the meeting, PM Modi emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities, and organisations in chalking out mechanisms to fight the novel Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. He also urged officials and technical experts to deliberate on the steps to be taken next.
"Ways to further strengthen India's preparedness (over Coronavirus) were discussed. This includes further enhancing testing facilities," an official statement from the PMO after the review meeting said.
PM Modi also expressed gratitude to all those at the forefront of combating COVID-19 including the various state governments, medical fraternity, paramedical staff, armed and paramilitary forces, those associated with the aviation sector, municipal staff and others, the statement read.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has soared over 170, including foreign nationals. The maximum cases of the virus have been reported in Maharashtra and Kerala. A third death was reported in India on Tuesday in Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital. Earlier, two deaths were reported in Kalaburgi and West Delhi.
The Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and has issued preventive advisories. Earlier on Saturday, the Central government decided to treat the deadly virus as a "notified disaster", and has since issued even more advisories and travel restrictions.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel Coronavirus has affected nearly 173 countries in the world and one international conveyance-- the Diamond Princess cruise ship harboured in Yokohama, Japan. Presently, there are around 219,345 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of around 8,969 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19 yet, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus.