HomeNewsCOVID-19: This is what PM Narendra Modi said to Indian athletes
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COVID-19: This is what PM Narendra Modi said to Indian athletes

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the COVID-19 pandemic’s rapidly-growing threat with top Indian athletes, including Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Olympic silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu, urging them to continue doing awareness regarding social distancing on Friday. The country is currently in a 21-day lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Over 40 athletes, along with Indian sports minister Kiren Rijiju, participated in the video call that lasted for nearly an hour having started at 11 am.

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The Prime Minister requested the athletes’ support in raising awareness regarding the need for social distancing as well as personal hygiene. This comes at a time when the total cases of COVID-19 positive patients in the country have crossed the 2,000 mark.

“Your suggestions will be taken note of. We are fighting this pandemic like Team India. I am confident that India will be rejuvenated by the inspiration provided by you,” the Prime Minister told the athletes.

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The country’s sports industry has been severely hit, with all the sporting activities currently shut. The Indian Premier League is among the biggest Indian events that has been suspended.

Cricketers made up a major chunk of the participants who were on the video call.

These included Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, and Zaheer Khan. Former captain MS Dhoni and KL Rahul were also supposed to join the call, but it is learnt that they couldn’t.

Amongst the non-cricket participants were Sindhu, chess wizard Viswanathan Anand, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, boxing champs MC Mary Kom and Amit Panghal, sprinter Hima Das, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, and teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker.

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“Of these, 12 have been given three minutes each to speak and present their view,” a ministry source informed PTI without revealing the chosen athletes’ names.

The deadly outbreak has cost the world the Tokyo Olympics and the European football championships, both of which have been postponed to the next year. India’s 21-day lockdown will end on April 14.

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