Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his nation-wide address today, urged companies to not fire employees due to coronavirus lockdown, which has been extended by 19 more days till April 19. "Be kind to people who work with you in your business, your industry. Do not expel anyone," he said during the televised address. The PM said India might have paid a big economic price for the lockdown but there was no alternative to saving human lives.
Some companies have reportedly started cut jobs as the coronavirus pandemic has dented their financial prospects. In some cases, companies have asked employees to take pay cuts to keep businesses running. In March, startups like Bounce and Drivezy fired staff members. A majority of the startups have, however, said they are gauging the situation and will take measures after the lockdown.
As part of his 7-point appeal to citizens, the Prime Minister, while asking people to follow lockdown and social distancing norms, urged them to care of the elderly, especially those who have health issues. He also said people should follow the AYUSH guidelines to boost the immunity of their body and eat healthy food. He asked people to the poor and respect frontline workers.
PM Modi said the Centre would come out with detailed guidelines on the extension of lockdown on Wednesday. He assured the country there was adequate stock of medicines and ration. He said some relaxations might be allowed after April 20 in areas with no hotspot. He added the fight against coronavirus would become more stringent in the next one week as new hotspots would create a new crisis.
PM Narendra Modi said people had gone through hardships to save India. "I know how many difficulties you have faced. I respectfully bow to the people of India for their sacrifice," he added.
Even when India did not have a single coronavirus patient, India had begun screening passengers from COVID-19 affected countries, Prime Minister Modi said, highlighting India's advanced preparedness to tackle the pandemic. Currently, there are over 10,363 positive cases in India, of which 1,036 recovered and 339 died.