Indian pop singer Sona Mohapatra called on fellow citizens to not panic during the nationwide coronavirus shutdown and instead asked them to keep patience and wait for things to stabilise. Speaking to Republic TV, Sona said, "We just need to stay home, nobody will starve to death. We need to make with what we have. The whole panic is understandable but we need to hold back. We need to share information in layman's terms with our loved ones."
Sona Mahapatra lashed out at recent cases of verbal abuse against people from North East of India saying, "If there is one thing that's more abundant than hydrogen, the most widely available element on the universe, then that's stupidity. Please don't attack people from the North East and call them 'corona', 'Chinese' and all that. All these racial hate needs to be kept aside."
The singer also endorsed PM Narendra Modi's appeal to aid nine poor families during this time of crisis. She criticised the practice of hoarding food and other commodities by some people saying these acts are "selfish".
Sona Mahapatra expressed optimism over things getting back to normal. "The State and Central governments are working in tandem and it will take a couple of days for the supply chains to come into place but we have to maintain patience," the singer added.
Currently, there are 694 active COVID-19 cases in India while 16 individuals have died due to the pandemic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown in the entire country for three weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled measures to ease the woes of the consumers and corporate sector.