Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, March 29 apologised for taking "harsh steps" which have caused difficulties for the citizens but asserted that tough measures were needed to win the battle against coronavirus pandemic. Addressing his monthly radio show 'Mann Ki Baat',  the prime minister said that the battle against COVID-19 is a tough one and it required harsh decisions.

"I apologize for taking these harsh steps which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people. I know some of you would be angry with me also. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle," PM Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra ModiTwitter/allindiaradionews

The prime minister once again urged all to stay inside their homes and asked those breaking the lockdown rules to follow them religiously as by not doing so, they will be risking their own lives. "I will say that if they don't follow this lockdown, it will be difficult to protect ourselves from the danger of Coronavirus," he said.

PM Modi hails 'frontline soldiers'

Modi also hailed the medical professionals and those working to ensure essential services are running as the 'frontline soldiers' in the battle against the COVID-19. He said that the world is celebrating 2020 as the international year of the nurse and midwife.

"There are many soldiers who are fighting #Coronavirus, not from their homes but from outside their homes. These are our front line soldiers-especially our brothers and sisters on duty as nurses, doctors & paramedical staff," the PM said in his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his radio programme Mann Ki Baat.

Increase social distancing not emotional or human distancing: PM Modi

Referring to the reports of harassment of those in quarantine, the prime minister urged people to practice social distancing and not emotional or human distancing. He said that it was unfair to discriminate with people in mandatory isolation as they were only taking precautions.

""It is not fair to discriminate against those under quarantine... they are taking precautions... Social distancing is not about ending social interaction... This is the time to infuse new life in your relationships.... Increase social distance but decrease emotional or human distance," Modi said.

He also interacted with the Agra family who had tested positive for coronavirus but recovered. During the interaction, Ashok Kapoor, who had contracted the COVID-19 infection along with five other family members, thanked authorities in Agra and Delhi for their prompt action.