UN in India welcomes PM Modi's 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19

New Delhi , Mar 25 : United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Dessallien, on Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strategy of a 21-day nation-wide lockdown to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

She also commended the Prime Minister's call for social distancing, an important step to flatten the curve of the deadly disease.

Dessallien said, "The UN system in India is fully mobilised and ready to further step up its support to the Government of India to fight COVID-19. I believe that if we work together, we can overcome one of the greatest health threats of our lifetimes."

UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, are at the forefront of the coronavirus response and is with the government, both at the Centre and states on preparedness, response measures, disease surveillance, laboratory and research protocols, risk communications, infection prevention, and control training, cluster containment plan, surveillance and tracking of travellers.

On Tuesday, Dessallien, along with WHO Representative to India, Dr Henk Bekedam, met the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, and commended the government for its "early and robust response".

The UN officials also appreciated taking a whole-of-government approach to tackle the pandemic head-on. They also discussed measures to reduce stigma and stereotypes.

The UN has been working with various other countries to flatten the curve of the disease.

On March 1, the UN released USD 15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help vulnerable countries battle the spread of the COVID-19.

In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in India, Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks.

Till now, India has reported 562 positive cases of coronavirus, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


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UN in India welcomes PM Modi's 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19