A health worker checks the body temperature of a worker amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Chennai on March 16, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Indian Prime Minister started his live address to the nation at 10am [IST] on day 14 of the lock down that was announced on March 31.

Modi said, "Citizens have been effective soldiers in the successful battle against COVID-19."

He added that India had taken the decision to the go into a lock down very early, when cases were just around 550. He lauded the efforts of the Chief Ministers in helping curb the spread of the virus and said India has served as a model in front of the entire world

"But we cannot ignore the risks ahead," Modi said in the televised address on Tuesday going on to say that the most asked question now from leaders and the public is one - "is the lock down extended".

Lock down, restrictions ahead

The decision has been taken, he continued, to extend the nation wide lock down until May 3.

He added that there are discussions of easing restrictions slowly, after reviewing the situation. A detailed plan will be released later, he said. Modi said," From 20th of April, situation in every police station, every district, every state will be evaluated to see how effectively the lockdown is being implemented."

Modi also asked businesses to not lay off employees as far as possible. He also called on the public to respect service people on the frontline, including medical professionals, police.

He said, "We need to keep to a strict vigil on areas that can potentially become hotspots. Emergence of new hotspots are a challenge to our determination and resolve. This is why, over the next week the battle against coronavirus will be intensified and made stricter."

Modi added a list of recommendations to the public:

1. Take care of the elderly at your home, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.

2. Comply with the lock down restrictions

3. Strengthen your immunity and take care of yourself by wearing masks, even home-made ones

4. Use the app 'Aarogya Setu- the app was created by the Indian government to connect public with essential health services

5. Help those who are poor around you and can't afford the same care, essentials as every one else

6. Don't lay off employees now