'Lockdown trained people for new lifestyle norms'

Coronavirus lockdown trained people of India for new norms in lifestyle: Jitendra Singh

The minister said the lockdown period taught everyone how to keep functioning and performing the professional work in spite of the constraint of not attending office. (Credit: PTI photo)

Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said the nationwide lockdown of over eight weeks has trained the people of the country for the 'new norms' in lifestyle and the need for practising hygiene, physical distancing in day-to-day life.

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Singh, the Union Minister for the PMO, also said in a country as heterogeneous and populous as India, if people could avoid overcrowding to the maximum extent possible, this itself, will be one of the most rewarding 'new norms' in the time after the coronavirus crisis blows over.

"While life has to move on and the show must go on, lockdown has inculcated in us the essential practices of hygiene, healthy maintenance of physical distance and discipline in day-to-day life," he told reporters here.

Singh said the lockdown measures have revived the traditional practices of handwash and greeting people with folded hands which are going to be part of the 'new normal' social culture. 

The minister said the lockdown period taught everyone how to keep functioning and performing the professional work in spite of the constraint of not attending office.

"It is amazing that in many cases, the work output was higher while working from home, which will possibly mark a new opening in professional life in the times to come," he said.

Singh said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown -- at a time when many of the European countries had refused to do so -- many questions were raised.

"But today, looking back retrospectively, it is being acknowledged by all that a country of 130 crore population has been saved of a huge catastrophe because of this decision," he said.

The minister said the preemptive measures taken by Prime Minister Modi were being lauded across the world and have reiterated him as a visionary world leader.  

Notwithstanding the misgivings in certain quarters, he said, statistical figures bear out that over the last 10 weeks, India's performance in the fight against coronavirus has not only been effective but has also improved.

"Our recovery rate has over the last few weeks improved to more than 47 per cent and mortality rate has remained limited to around 0.2 per lakh and our doubling time has also improved," he said.

Singh said even though the government will make certain relaxations in the days to come, the observance of practices learnt during the lockdown period will have to be carried out for a long time to come. 

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