NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cautioned against any complacency in the fight against COVID-19, saying that over the past few days there have been pictures and videos of crowded places and people roaming about without masks or social distancing and “it should instil a sense of fear in us,” sources said.
They said the Prime Minister noted that people not following COVID-19 protocols was not a “pleasant sight”.
The Prime Minister chaired the first meeting of his expanded council of ministers on Thursday. “Over the past few days, we all have been seeing pictures and videos of crowded places and people roaming about without masks or social distancing. This is not a pleasant sight and it should instil a sense of fear in us,” the Prime Minister said, according to sources.
The Prime Minister stressed that powered by the country’s COVID warriors and frontline workers, India’s fight against the global pandemic is being fought with full vigour.
He said the country is steadily vaccinating a substantial number of its population and testing is also consistently high.
He emphasised that there should be no space for carelessness or complacency in such a time and noted that a single mistake would have far-reaching impacts and weaken the fight to overcome COVID-19.
According to sources, the Prime Minister said that with the number of cases being lesser than what they were in the recent months, people may want to venture out.
He said everyone must remember that the threat of COVID-19 is far from over, many other nations are seeing surges in infections and the virus is also mutating.
“As ministers, our aim should not be to instil fear but to request people to keep taking all possible precautions so that we are able to move beyond this pandemic in the times to come,” the Prime Minister said, according to sources.
He also expressed concern at the persistently high number of cases coming from Maharashtra and Kerala, the sources added.
The Prime Minister carried out an expansion and reshuffle of his cabinet on Wednesday.
Advice to new ministers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired the first meeting of the expanded council of ministers asked the new ministers to meet their predecessors and benefit from their experience.
The Prime Minister also reportedly asked the ministers to be punctual and work tirelessly for people.
According to sources, PM Modi told the new ministers that they should make use of the experience of ministers who held the portfolio before them.
“Especially those who are no longer part of the council, the PM praised those ministers for work in their ministries and asked the new ministers to gain from them,” said the source.
This has come in the middle of allegations levelled by the Congress that former Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s exit from the Council of Council “is an admission of COVID-19 failure” and that “he was made a fall guy”.
The meeting of the council of ministers went for more than two hours as the newly-inducted ministers were introduced in the first such meeting after the expansion and reshuffle of the ministry on Wednesday.
According to sources, PM Modi asked the ministers to work hard for well-being of people and to ensure effective implementation of schemes.
“PM had been living a disciplined life for so long. His every word came from experience. He asked us to work hard with transparency and with commitment towards people,” a source said. (ANI)