Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday praised the Uttar Pradesh government for its fight against the coronavirus pandemic and said that the state had managed to control the outbreak in spite of challenges posed by its huge population. Modi said that the state’s toll was just a fraction of four badly-hit European nations.

“England, France, Italy and Spain have a combined population of 24 crore, but in India Uttar Pradesh alone has 24 crore people,” the prime minister said while launching the Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan through video conference. “These countries, that once conquered the world, recorded 1,30,000 deaths in total while Uttar Pradesh recorded only 600.”

Modi, while launching the jobs scheme, also praised the people of Uttar Pradesh for their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “Uttar Pradesh has shown courage and intelligence in combating the coronavirus,” he said. “The way Uttar Pradesh took control of the situation and emerged successful is praiseworthy. I applaud the 24 crore residents of the state. They have set an example for the world.”

Modi also urged the people to practice physical distancing and take other safety measures till a vaccine for the coronavirus is found. “We must wash our hands, wear masks and maintain do gaz doori [six-feet distance] to stay safe from infection.”


The jobs scheme launched by Modi seeks to provide employment to over 1 crore people from the state, including 30 lakh migrant workers who lost their jobs because of the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus. The Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan will cover 31 districts of the state. The plan is a part of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan that Modi had launched last week.

The prime minister also spoke with villagers from six districts of Uttar Pradesh during the virtual launch of the scheme. “Under the ‘atma nirbhar Bharat’ campaign, clusters of industries are being created to promote local products across the country,” the prime minister said. “The people of Uttar Pradesh will benefit from the programme immensely.”

Uttar Pradesh has recorded 20,193 coronavirus cases and 611 deaths so far, according to the Union health ministry.

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