Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday announced to donate his one month salary to the PM Relief Fund for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and appealed other members to contribute for the battle against coronavirus, which has killed more than 23,000 people and infected over half a million globally.

"I have decided to donate my one month salary to Prime Minister Relief Fund for COVID-19. My appeal to all, come forward and contribute for the fight against this pandemic. #IndiaFightsCorona," Gadkari tweeted.

Nitin Gadkari
Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Besides Gadkari, Rajya Sabha MP CM Ramesh has also pledged to contribute to the PM's relief fund as well as to the relief funds of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana chief ministers to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

"In view of prevailing situation and to combat #CoronaVirus, I would like to pledge my MPLADS worth Rs 2CR to Hon'ble PM National Relief Fund, Rs 1 CR to @AndhraPradeshCM Relief Fund & Rs1CR to @TelanganaCMO Relief Fund to Support Nation's fight for #CoronaFreeIndia," he tweeted.

Economies disrupted, over 23,000 lives lost due to coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global economy and killed more than 23,000 people across the world. Over half a million people are infected by the coronavirus. So far, there is no established treatment or vaccine for the COVID-19 and several countries are trying to develop a cure.

Coronavirus Status in India

The number of coronavirus infections in India has also been rising rapidly, which has prompted the government to take drastic measures. The central government has enforced a 21-day nation-wide lockdown to protect people from the deadly novel coronavirus. The positive COVID-19 cases in India have crossed 700 with 16 deaths across the country. Maharashtra and Kerala are the worst-hit states with more than 100 cases.

In view of the prevailing situation, the Centre has also released a stimulus package of worth Rs 1,70,000 crore. The poor will get cash transfer and food subsidy in their bank accounts, while medical professionals at frontline duties will get an insurance cover of up to Rs 50 lakh for the next three months.

The Rs 1,70,000-crore "Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme" will offer an additional 5 kg wheat/rice and 1 kg pulses free of cost for the next three months. Sitharaman said that the government will ensure that "no one will go hungry".