Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that violence, abuse and rude behaviour against frontline workers like doctors, nurses, and sanitation workers is not acceptable.
Speaking at the 25th foundation day of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru via video conference, Modi said: "I am aware of an area that is of great concern to you all. Due to a mob mentality, those working on frontlines, those on duty be it doctors, nurses, safai workers are subject to violence."
"I want to state it clearly -- violence, abuse and rude behaviour against frontline workers is not acceptable. Steps have been taken to protect you against any form of violence. We have also provided an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for those on the frontline," he added.
In April, the Central government had brought an ordinance to end violence against health workers, making it a cognizable, non-bailable offence with imprisonment up to seven years for those found guilty.
The prime minister also termed the coronavirus as "invisible enemy" and called India's corona warriors as "invincible" asserting that they will win the battle against the virus.
"Today the world is facing one of the biggest crises since the two world wars. Like the world changed pre and post-world wars, in the same way, pre and post-Covid world will be different. During such a time the world is looking up to our doctors, nurses, medical staff and scientific community with hope and gratitude," Modi said.
"The world seeks both care and cure from you. In the root of India's brave fight against COVID-19 is the hard work of the medical community and our corona warriors. In fact, doctors and medical workers are like soldiers but without soldiers' uniform. The virus may be an invisible enemy but our corona warriors, medical workers are invincible. In the battle of invisible against invincible, our medical workers are sure to win," he said.
He also said the world must unite and focus on "humanity-centric" aspects of development, noting that advancements nations make in the health sector will matter more than ever as countries battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeking a global approach to deal with the health crisis, the prime minister said earlier, the debates on globalisation have focused on economic issues.
"Now, the world must unite and focus on humanity- centric aspects of development. Advancements nations make in the health sector will matter more than ever before," he told the gathering.
He said there were three things on which he would urge "maximum discussion and participation" and these include telemedicines, Make in India products in the health sector and use of IT-based tools.
He proposed work on new models that make telemedicine popular on a larger scale.
"The other is related to 'Make in India' in the health sector. The initial gains make me optimistic," he said.
Domestic manufacturers have started production of personal protective equipment and have supplied about one crore PPEs to COVID warriors, he pointed out.
He said similarly, manufacturers have supplied 1.2 crore 'Make in India' N-95 masks to all the states.
He also referred to the Aarogya Setu app to drive home his point on the use of IT tools for healthier societies.
"Twelve crore health conscious people have downloaded it. This has been very helpful in the fight against coronavirus," Modi said.
-- With inputs from PTI