Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after announcing a national lockdown for three weeks, said the "battle of Mahabharata was won in 18 days, the war the whole country is fighting against coronavirus will take 21 days."
PM Modi was interacting with the citizens of his parliamentary constituency Varanasi via video link on Wednesday.
"Our aim is to win this war in 21 days," he said.
"Today is the first day of Navratri, you all must be busy in performing rituals and offering prayers, but still you took out time for this interaction, I'm grateful to all of you. I pray to Goddess Shailputri to give us the strength in the country's fight against coronavirus," said the PM Narendra Modi, who began the day with a series of tweets greeting people on spring festivals but commenting that the "celebrations" would not be like usual.
"As the MP of Varanasi, I should have been among you in times like these. But you are aware of the things that are going on in Delhi. Despite being busy here, I have been taking regular updates on Varanasi from my colleagues," he said.
On rumours on coronavirus, the PM said, "At times, people don't pay attention to things which are important. The same is happening in India. I request people to understand the facts and not believe in rumours. COVID-19 doesn''t discriminate between the rich and the poor. It will not spare anyone just because they perform yoga or exercise daily."
On Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi said citizens across the country must stay home for 21 days to break the chain of transmission of the deadly virus, saying that "social distancing" was the only option to deal with coronavirus.