Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the “contours of professional life”, adding that the disease affects everyone equally.
“India, with the right blend of the physical and the virtual can emerge as the global nerve centre of complex modern multinational supply chains in the post Covid-19 world,” the prime minister wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Let us rise to that occasion and seize this opportunity.”
He added that the country’s response to the pandemic should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. “Covid-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking,” Modi said. “We are in this together.”
His post came after a cancer hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut put out an advertisement that it would not take in new Muslim patients if they do not come with a negative test result for Covid-19. The health ministry has also consistently maintained that the event organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area has led to a big jump in coronavirus infections in India.
In the post titled “Life in the era of Covid-19”, Modi detailed the changes he has adopted to adjust to his work. “These days, home is the new office,” he said. “The Internet is the new meeting room. For the time being, office breaks with colleagues are history. I have also been adapting to these changes. Most meetings, be it with minister colleagues, officials and world leaders, are now via video conferencing.”
The prime minister said the need of the hour is to think of business and lifestyle models that are easily adaptable. “The work place is getting Digital First,” he wrote. “And, why not? After all, the most transformational impact of technology often happens in the lives of the poor. It is technology that demolishes bureaucratic hierarchies, eliminates middlemen and accelerates welfare measures.”
He said technology will help businesses move faster even during the crisis, while ensuring that there is no loss of life. “Embracing digital payments is a prime example of adaptability,” Modi said. “Shop owners big and small should invest in digital tools that keep commerce connected, especially in times of crisis. India is already witnessing an encouraging surge in digital transactions.”
Modi urged people to reimagine the meaning of being efficient. “Rather than playing catch up, India must be ahead of the curve in the post-Covid world,” he said. “Let us think about how our people, our skills sets, our core capabilities can be used in doing so...The next big ideas from India should find global relevance and application. They should have the ability to drive a positive change not merely for India but for the entire humankind.”
India has recorded 15,712 coronavirus cases and 507 deaths, according to the health ministry’s Sunday morning update. On April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the extension of the ongoing nationwide lockdown till May 3.