Vice President and spouse light lamps at Upa-Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu along with his spouse Smt. Ushamma lit lamps at Uparashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi tonight at 9 PM to express their solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating that the initiative of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was meant to display our unity and collective strength to dispel the gloom and darkness caused by the Novel Coronavirus, the Vice President lauded the people of the country for showing the immense power of teamwork.

Through their overwhelming response to the Prime Minister’s call, the people of India have once again reasserted the country’s steely resolve to overcome the crisis caused by the pandemic.

While appealing to people to stay at home during the lock-down period, the Vice President said that it was everybody’s duty to halt the transmission of the virus.

Lauding the valiant efforts of all healthcare workers, police, municipal, sanitation workers and civil society groups in combating COVID-19, he appealed to the people to maintain social distancing and observe personal hygiene. He also urged them to strictly follow the instructions given by the government and the healthcare experts to control the spread of COVID-19.

While appreciating the Central and State Governments for implementing various measures to mitigate the hardship caused to the people, Shri Naidu it was also the duty of every member of the society to come to the rescue of migrant labour and the needy and poor in this hour of national crisis.

Expressing his appreciation to both electronic and print media personnel for disseminating news and constant updates on the pandemic, the Vice President appealed to the people to guard against rumors, fake news, and misleading information, particularly on social media.

Later in a Facebook post, the Vice President expressed concern over the spread of misinformation, especially on social media and said that it was a virus that needs to be checked immediately.

“We should steer clear of untenable generalisations about communities and should not view events like this from the prism of our prejudices and biases. We hope there will be no more such unfortunate, blatant violations of the prescribed guidelines,” he added.

The Vice President stressed the urgent need for constant, open dialogue among different partners and a constant calibration of our responses, both individual and collective.

He opined that free flow of authentic information to quell rumours and misinformation was critical.

Stating that there was another disturbing set of events related to assaults on front-line medical professionals who have been waging a brave war against all odds, the Vice President said

“Respect and concern for the safety of the front-line warriors, especially the medical professionals are absolutely essential for achieving our objective”.

Meanwhile, the Vice President, who is also Chairman of Rajya Sabha has decided to contribute 30% from his salary towards combating COVID-19 every month till the situation becomes normal.

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