An Indian Municipal employee walks with his hand cart in front of a mural, as the country relaxed its lockdown restriction on June 08, 2020 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

India’s federal government on Thursday launched a public awareness drive as part of its fight against COVID-19, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministerial colleagues asking people to follow precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

The start of a ‘jan andolan’ (mass movement) campaign comes in view of upcoming festivals, winter season and opening up of the economy, as a lack of adherence to recommended precautions can increase cases of the infection.

Modi said India’s coronavirus fight is people-driven and gets great strength from its COVID warriors. He also urged the masses to unite to fight the virus.

Home Minister Amit Shah said a global pandemic like COVID-19 can be fought only when all countrymen come together.

Using the hashtag ‘Unite2FightCorona’, Prime Minister Modi tweeted,”We have to continue the momentum and protect our citizens from the virus.”

“Let us #Unite2FightCorona! Let us always remember: Wear a mask. Wash hands. Follow social distancing. Practice ‘Do Gaj Ki Doori.’  Together, we will succeed. Together, we will win against COVID-19,” he said in another tweet.

Modi appealed to people to follow social distancing norms and expressed confidence that the fight against the pandemic will be won.

Collective efforts have helped save many lives, the prime minister said.

Shah urged people to join the mass awareness campaign launched by Modi and play a key role in making India free of this pandemic.

Wearing mask, maintaining distance of two yards and frequently washing hands are the only three mantras to protect oneself from the coronavirus, he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar echoed similar views, saying these precautions are our “security shield” as the country unlocks and marches towards becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

He asked people to keep following “COVID-appropriate behaviour”.

In a tweet, BJP president J P Nadda thanked Modi for his call for a mass movement against the pandemic and said everyone will follow his suggestions.