Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reprimanded Indians for their increasing negligence and carelessness as the country sees Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections surge to new record highs every day.
Mr Modi said “increasing negligence in personal and social behaviour” had been observed, especially in regards to wearing masks and physical distancing.
This could scuttle India’s efforts to get the outbreak under control, he said.
“Today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry,’’ Modi said in an address to the nation, as he warned people against disobeying national directives in force to fight the outbreak.
“This is a serious matter and we must maintain discipline. People who are not following the rules will need to be stopped and cautioned. Nobody is above rules in India, be it a village head or prime minister,’’ he said.
There has been a huge spike in coronavirus infections from the 190,000 cases in total on June 1, when restrictions first began to be eased
On Tuesday last week, the total number of infections crossed 560,000, adding some 20,000 cases every day, with nearly 17,000 deaths linked to COVID-19.
Mr Modi also said his government will extend a free foodgrain distribution scheme for 800 million poor people until the end of November.
He said the foodgrain scheme will cost the government an additional 900 billion rupees ($12 billion), taking the total expenditure on the scheme to 1.5 trillion rupees.