Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the country's battle against coronavirus a "people-driven" movement and urged citizens to join the government in the struggle.
"People of our country are fighting this war along with the administration. We are also fighting poverty," Modi said Sunday, in his monthly radio broadcast. "I am proud that all of us are part of it. All of us are soldiers in this fight."
Modi said that demonstrations of solidarity, such as clapping and lighting candles, have lifted the morale of frontline workers. He also lauded workers of different sectors, saying "be it in cities or a village, everywhere we can see people getting involved in this fight against the pandemic."
"While some are feeding the poor, some are making masks, others are selling their lands to raise money for this fight. Some are even contributing their pensions. Our hardworking farmers are also ensuring no one is hungry," he added.
Referring to how coronavirus is altering life in India, and around the world, Modi said the most prominent change had been mask-wearing.
Masks have become a part of life due to coronavirus. It doesn't mean if someone wears a mask, they are sick," he said. "Masks will become a symbol of a civilized society."
Modi also thanked Indians for celebrating festivals such as Easter and Ramadan at home.
India has been under nationwide lockdown since March 24, with no plan to relax restriction until at least May 3.
As of Sunday, the country has reported 26,496 coronavirus cases and 825 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.