Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has urged everyone to strictly follow the government guidelines in wake of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that has triggered a global health crisis. Across the world, over 3,00,000 have been infected by the virus while over 13,000 have died as a result of it. Also Read - Tablighi Jamaat Congregation: BJP MP Says it Was Planned 'Corona Jihad'
In India, seven deaths have been reported so far with more than 300 infected cases. Also Read - COVID-19: Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy to Play Online Exhibition Event to Raise Funds
Neeraj says when smaller European countries with superior medical facilities have struggled than Indians should try and help contain the virus at second stage itself as next stage, known as community transfer, could lead to catastrophic results. Also Read - Frontline Nurse Dies Due to Coronavirus Moments After Husband Whispered 'Don't Worry About The Kids'
“People should take this pandemic seriously and follow guidelines,” Chopra said on Sunday. “They should do this voluntarily like the Prime Minister’s Janata curfew. Countries in Europe are very small and they have better medical services but they are facing a huge crisis.”
He added, “Our country is much bigger with a lot of poor people. If our country reaches the stage 3 (of the spread of pandemic) it may really have a devastating effect. We should try and contain the disease before that happens. So, each one of us should be a responsible citizen and try to maintain social distancing.”
Chopra has been in mandatory 14-day self-isolation at NIS Patiala since returning from a training stint in Turkey. During his time in the country, the virus wasn’t a big threat but since he has reached the country, the situation has changed dramatically.
“I am not training at all. The gates of this hostel meant for those who have come back from foreign training have been locked. Not allowed to go anywhere but we are given an old gym to do some workout to keep ourselves fit,” Chopra said.
“I could not have been at home and remained isolated for 14 days because there, I would have mixed up with family. Here, I can be alone, so I am trying to enjoy my time. Moreover, as an athlete it is good to follow rules and be a responsible citizen,” he added.
Chopra said the forced break has been a completely different experience for him. “This is a completely different leisure time, not mixing with anybody, away from the world outside,” he said.
The 22-year-old, who has already punched his ticket for the Tokyo Olympics, is taking every possible precaution.
“I am washing hands frequently, using sanitizers after touching any object and keeping myself clean. If somebody wants to speak to me, he has to first use the sanitiser and speak to me from at least 5m away. It is something new which I have not done. But these are extraordinary times,” he explained.
So how is he spending the free-time? “I am enjoying my spare time listening to music, speaking on phone with family and friends, and reading a bit also. Sometimes, I watch movies on my laptop,” he replied.