Interacting with the people of his parliamentary constituency -- Varanasi -- on the menace of coronavirus through video conferencing, Modi called for restraint, resolve and sensitivity and urged the people not to believe in rumours or resort to self-medication.
He said the government has formed a help desk in collaboration with WhatsApp so that people get correct information about coronavirus and said it can be accessed through the WhatsApp number 9013151515 by texting 'Namaste'.
Referring to beginning of Navratri, a period of nine days considered auspicious by the Hindus, on Wednesday, the Prime Minister urged the people to resolve to help to nine poor families during the lockdown period of 21 days announced on Tuesday and said it will be great worship of mother goddess.
He said the Goddess Shailputri, who is the embodiment of affection and kindness and is also regarded as Goddess of nature, is worshipped on the first day of Navratri.
"The crisis that the country is facing today, in this there is a great need of Her blessing," Modi said.
He said the battle of Mahabharata was won in 18 days and the "effort is to win the battle against corona, being fought by the entire country, in 21 days".
"Lord Krishna was the charioteer in Mahabharata. We have to win this battle with the cooperation of 130 crore people," he said.
He said people would have read reports how some people got into trouble by resorting to self-medication. "We have to protect ourselves from any rumour and superstition."
He said knowledgeable people all over the country have appealed for lockdown against the global pandemic. "When people have this firm resolve, I have full faith that it will be defeated," Modi said.
He said Kashi, which is associated with Lord Shiva, can provide guidance at the time of crisis.
Modi said the experience of Kashi is relevant to times and during lockdown it can teach the country self-control, coordination, sensitivity, cooperation, peace, tolerance and service.
It was the Prime Minister's first interaction with the people of Varanasi after the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Striking a note of caution, he said at times, people don't pay attention to things which are important and the same is happening in India.
He also urged the people to understand facts and not believe in rumours and added that coronavirus does not discriminate between the rich and poor and it will not spare anyone.
Modi said he has asked Home Ministry and DGPs to take strict action against those who are not supporting or not co-operating with doctors, nurses and other professionals who are serving in this critical time.
He said COVID-19 doesn't discriminate between the rich and the poor and it will not spare anyone just because they perform yoga or exercise daily.
Noting that healthcare professionals working in white uniforms in hospitals were like God, he said they were saving people from the disease and risking their own lives.
Urging people to take care of nine families coinciding with the start of Navratri, he said whoever has the capability should take the pledge to take care of nine families for 21 days.
"It will be a true 'Navratri'. Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to the people to take care of the animals around them," Modi said.
Noting that over one lakh people have been cured globally and people have come out of coronavirus in the country also, Modi said he saw the news about a 90-year-old woman in Italy.
He lauded children, who are coming forward to create awareness to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.
"In this battle against COVID-19, I have noticed that our army of children is playing a major role. They are making their parents understand what to do and what not to do, how to wash hands and how not to follow wrong practices," said Modi.
Modi said that as the MP of Varanasi, he should have been among them in times like this but it has not been possible due to the coronavirus-related developments. He added that despite being busy, he has been taking regular updates about Varanasi from his colleagues. (ANI)