Emirates News Agency – India extends free food for 800 million people till November


By Krishnan Nayar

New Delhi, 30th June, 2020 (WAM) – On the eve of the second phase of unlocking India in the process of managing the Coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended free
food grain distribution for approximately 800 million people till the end of November.

The measure will cost his government 900 billion Indian rupees (about $11.9 billion), he said in a nation-wide televised address.

With the onset of monsoon, “we are entering the season of increased cases of cough, cold and fever,” Modi cautioned. “I, therefore, beseech all of you to take special care of yourselves.”

The Prime Minister said “timely imposition of lockdown and other decisions have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But since Unlock-1, there is increasing negligence in personal and social
behaviour. Earlier, we were very careful with respect to wearing of masks, social distancing and washing of hands for 20 seconds. But today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry.”

Modi promised that “while taking all the precautions, we will further expand economic activities. We will work ceaselessly for Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-sufficient India). We will be vocal for local.”

Modi’s announcements came on a day when 13,099 COVID-19 patients were cured, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here. India’s total
COVID-19 count to-date is 566,840, of which 215,125 are active cases. There have been 16,893 deaths while 334,822 patients have been cured so far, the Ministry said.

WAM/Tariq alfaham


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