Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has slammed those not following social distancing during the countrywide lockdown and gathering in crowds on roads. Kohli issued a video message from his social media page to ask people to stay indoors and follow rules formulated by the government.
He said, “Hi, I am Virat Kohli. Today, I am not talking to you as an Indian cricketer but as an Indian citizen. Whatever I have seen in the last few days, people’s crowd on the street, people wandering around on the road, not following curfew rules, not obeying law and order. After seeing this, I felt as if we are taking this fight (against coronavirus) lightly. This fight is not as simple as it appears.”
Kohli added, “My request to people today is; please please please, follow the rules on social distancing. Please follow every rule and instruction laid down by our government.”
Please wake up to the reality and seriousness of the situation and take responsibility. The nation needs our support and honesty. pic.twitter.com/ZvOb0qgwIV
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 27, 2020
Kohli’s reaction to crowds during the lockdown came after thousands of people gathered in Delhi’s Anand Vihar to return home. These people were migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who decided to return home in the wake of looming uncertainty on their livelihood in big cities. The migration of hundreds of thousands of workers prompted Congress MP to take a dig at the central government as he wrote on Twitter, “Out of work & facing an uncertain future, millions of our brothers & sisters across India are struggling to find their way back home. It’s shameful that we’ve allowed any Indian citizen to be treated this way & that the Govt had no contingency plans in place for this exodus.”
Out of work & facing an uncertain future, millions of our brothers & sisters across India are struggling to find their way back home. It’s shameful that we’ve allowed any Indian citizen to be treated this way & that the Govt had no contingency plans in place for this exodus. pic.twitter.com/sjHBFqyVZk
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 28, 2020
Opposition parties also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing a 21-day lockdown without properly planning the contingencies and taking care of the likely impact on India’s poor population.