Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with 40 eminent sportspersons of the country through video-conferencing, throwing light on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic outbreak as well as the 21-day lockdown in India. The top athletes included Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu, Hima Das, and Bhaichung Bhutia among others.
The PM gave a five-point mantra of ‘Sankalp, Sanyam, Sakaratmakta, Samman and Sahyog’ to tackle COVID-19, which has claimed 56 Indian lives. The number of cases has reached 2,301.
The other prominent sportspersons included PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Vishwanathan Anand, Mary Kom, Bajrang Punia, Sourav Ganguly, Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, and Cheteshwar Pujara. This comes amid most sporting events being cancelled or postponed worldwide, from Euro 2020 to Wimbledon, and from IPL (though not indefinitely) to even the Olympics.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meeting with 40 top sportspersons, including Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu and Hima Das, via video conferencing today, on #COVID19 situation in the country. pic.twitter.com/eC4xKceL4a
— ANI (@ANI) April 3, 2020
Praising the sportspersons for bringing glory to the nation through stellar performances on the field, PM Modi told them that they now have an important role to play in boosting the morale of the nation as well as spreading the message of social distancing along with asking people to continuously follow advisories given during lockdown. He underlined that the traits learnt in sports training viz the ability to face challenges, self-discipline, positivity and self-belief are the essential tools to combat the spread of the virus.
He also asked them to highlight the importance of both physical and mental fitness and also popularize guidelines released by AYUSH Ministry.
Earlier in the day, Modi also made a new appeal to the countrymen, asking people to put off the lights in their houses for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, and light lamps at their doors or balconies. “You are not alone, no one is alone in the fight against coronavirus. The light from the lamps will show that we are together in this battle,” he said.
Globally, the number of cases cross 10 lakh, the highest of which were reported from the US (244,769), Italy (115,242) and Spain (112,065). The death toll rose to 52,973; Italy has the most fatalities (13,915), followed by Spain (10,348) and France (5,387).
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