- PM Modi made emotional homage to those who died of Covid
- He thanked doctors and frontline workers during the video conference
- Centre is battling criticism about its handling of pandemic
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visibly emotional today as he spoke about those who had lost their lives to Covid.
"This virus has ... snatched many of loved ones from us. I pay my humble tribute to them and I express my condolences to the families who lost people," the Prime Minister said, appearing to choke up as he took a long pause.
He thanked doctors and frontline workers during video conference with health workers in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
"In the second wave of corona, we are fighting on multiple fronts at the same time. The rate of infection is also much more and patients are in hospital for a longer time."
"कोरोना वायरस ने हमारे कई अपनों को हमसे छीना है। मैं उन सभी लोगों को अपनी श्रद्धांजलि देता हूं, उनके परिजनों के प्रति सांत्वना व्यक्त करता हूं।"— BJP (@BJP4India) May 21, 2021
कोरोना के कारण जान गंवाने वालों को श्रद्धांजलि देते हुए प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी भावुक हो गए। pic.twitter.com/UqTp8JzAAy
The Prime Minister's emotional homage to those who died of Covid in the fierce second wave of infections comes as his government battles criticism about its handling of the pandemic.
The opposition has repeatedly attacked PM Modi over the scale of infection and deaths in the past weeks, alleging that the government failed to prepare for the surge, declared victory over Covid too early and exported vaccines when it should have focused on protecting people in the country.
The PM was sharply criticised by Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders for his extensive election campaign in Bengal and crowded rallies in the time of Covid.
After peaking in early May, Covid cases have been declining in the past two weeks but experts have warned against a third wave that may be tougher on children.
"This is not the time to be complacent. We have a long fight ahead," the Prime Minister said, stressing on the need to protect children.