New Delhi: A day after the Center announced its exit plan which will be carried out in a phased manner from June 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the public on Sunday through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’. He spoke on wide range of topics including locust attack, cyclone-struck Odisha and West Bengal, Ayushman Bharat scheme, migrants’ crisis among others.Also Read - Rajasthan Eases Covid-19 restrictions; Schools To Resume Physical Classes From February 1. Details HERE

Applauding India for its low fatality rate amid Coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi went on to caution that there should be no laxity in maintaining six-feet distance and that wearing masks and staying indoors as much as possible is the need of the hour. Also Read - Odisha: Shree Jagannath temple in Puri to reopen from February 1

Here are top points from his speech:  Also Read - Plan To Retain Schedule As It Is With The Six Venues: Women's World Cup CEO

1) PM Modi said that the poor and labourers have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus crisis and that their pain cannot be explained in words. “There is no section in our country that is unaffected by the difficulties caused by the disease. However, the worst affected are the poor and the labourers. Their pain, their agony, and their ordeal can’t be expressed in words,” he said.

2) On cyclone-struck West Bengal and Odisha, Modi said that the entire country is standing with the people of both the states. “Last week, I went to West Bengal & Odisha to take stock of situation after super cyclone Amphan hit the states. Cyclone destroyed many houses, trees & farmers suffered huge loss. The courage & will with which these people have faced cyclone is commendable.”

3) PM Modi noted how India has fared much better than many parts of the world in fighting the pandemic and also lauded innovative spirit and the sense of service shown by people in different parts of the country.

4) The prime minister also asked people to be “extra careful” and stick to precautions like maintaining social distance and wearing masks as the economy gradually opens up.

5) On locust plague, Modi exuded confidence in combined efforts of the centre, state government, agriculture department or local administration, which, he said, will help agricultural sector in dealing with the crisis. “Many parts of the country are under locus attack. These attacks have reminded us how much damage this small insect can cause. Locust attack runs into several days, a huge area gets affected,” he said.

“Be it centre, state govt, agriculture dept or local admn, everybody is using modern resources to help farmers. Adopting new innovations, I am confident we will be able to deal with this crisis in the agriculture sector,” he added.

6) Speaking on the success of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, he said, “A few days ago, no.of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries crossed over 1 cr. If the poor had to pay for their treatments in hospital, if they weren’t treated for free then they had to spend somewhat around Rs 14,000 cr. Ayushman Bharat has saved money of poor.”

7) Appreciating the all the frontline workers and also those who are contributing to ease the situation according to their own capacity, the PM said, “What we are seeing in India’s fight against COVID-19 is ‘Seva Shakti’. In the fight against Coronavirus, people across the country have come together and they are doing remarkable work.”