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Archbishop of Vasai praised PM Modi's 21-day lockdown action to contain COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 21:39 (IST)

Archbishop of Vasai praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the lockdown that has been strictly imposed in every village and every lane for the next 21 days to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

"We should all appreciate it as it is the hour of need because not only India but the entire world is going through this difficult phase. We have to fight it collectively and whatever the government has decided, we will abide by it," Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado told UCA News.

As WHO has declared the coronavirus a pandemic, Archbishop Machado encouraged everyone to "join hands regardless of religion and stand with the government because during this period our first priority should be to save lives."

"The Catholic Church in India has rescheduled services for respective churches and dioceses until April 4, but we will review the matter as we approach Holy Week from April 5. As of now, our first responsibility is to save lives because they are precious gifts from God," the Christian leader explained.

"There is no doubt that if we don't take adequate precautions now, the pandemic will hit us very hard because our health system may not be able to handle it due to the shortage of medical professionals in the country and the poor management of the healthcare system," Father Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Delhi, told UCA News.

Meanwhile PM Modi has urged people across the country to "Forget all work except the work of staying at home" for the next three weeks.

Since many developed countries are struggling to curb the spread of deadly virus, the prime minister has emphasized on social distancing and has appealed to make public healthcare the highest priority during the time of pandemic.

While the country is under major lockdown, all essential stores like groceries, pharmacies, petrol pumps, ATMs, banks will still remain open for the public.

The country now has 606 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 10 deaths.