Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday took a sharp jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his recent appeals to the nation to bang utensils and light lamps and candles in their balconies and porches to show unity amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"If COVID-19 were human, it would have been insulted by the chants of "Go Corona Go!", deafened by the taalis and thalis, and blinded by the lights and diyas. That would have been enough to get it to quit India. But since it's a virus, it stubbornly stays on and spreads around the country," Mr Tharoor tweeted.
If #COVID19 were human, it would have been insulted by the chants of "Go Corona Go!", deafened by the taalis & thalis, & blinded by the lights & diyas. That would have been enough to get it to quit India. But since it's a virus, it stubbornly stays on & spreads around the country— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 9, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month had announced a three-week lockdown to check the spread of novel coronavirus, and urged the people of the country to beat utensils in a show of gratitude to the frontline health workers fighting the virus. Millions had answered PM's call.
This month, PM Modi, in a televised addressed, had appealed to the masses to light lamps, candles and flashlights for 9 minutes last Sunday, to defeat the "darkness" of the disease. Millions lit lamps and candles at their houses on April 5.
The opposition had criticised the two initiatives saying the disease cannot be defeated by beating utensils and lighting lamps.
India has reported over 5,700 COVID-19 cases so far, including at least 169 deaths. Maharashtra (1,135 cases, 72 deaths), Tamil Nadu (738 cases, eight deaths) and Delhi (669 cases, nine deaths) are the areas worst-hit, so far. As of Monday, cases have been reported from 284 districts across 28 states and union territories.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested on Wednesday that the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus will be extended and restrictions will not be lifted in one go after April 14, amid a spurt in COVID-19 infections in the country.