Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, called up a nurse from the civic-run Naidu Hospital in Pune, which has been treating COVID-19 patients, and applauded the work done by the hospital staff to fight the pandemic, in a bid to boost the moral of the medical fraternity who are at the forefront in fight against Coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes amid reports of the mistreatment of the frontline fighters against Coronavirus, the doctors, nurses and even some even airlines staff as their vigilante residential societies and those living on rents are being told to leave the houses they are staying in and common people ostracizing them. Even the police did not spare a few doctors and nursing staff who where going or returning from their duties. Even the family members who went to drop them were seen being beaten by the police at some places as the countrywide lockdown is in place till 21 days,  which started on Wednesday.

Nurse Chhaya Jagtap received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday evening, the health official from the Pune Municipal Corporation said. An audio recording of their conversation went viral on social media.

PM Modi starting the conversation in Marathi, enquired about her well-being and asked Jagtap how was she allaying her family’s fears for her safety, while serving COVID-19 patients with devotion.

Jagtap replied, “Yes, I am concerned about my family, but one has to work. We have to serve patients in this situation. I am managing.”

PM Modi also enquired whether the patients who are admitted in the hospital got scared. To which she replied, “We try and speak to them. We tell them not to get scared and assure them that nothing is going to happen to them and that their reports will come out negative.” We try to boost the morale of the patients, she added.

Jagtap informed Modi that seven COVID-19 patients have been discharged from the hospital after getting cured.

Jagtap even gave a message for the lakhs of medical staff working tirelessly in various hospitals. She said,  “There is no need to be scared. We have to drive this disease out and we have to make our country win. This should be the motto of hospitals and staff.”

PM Modi congratulated Jagtap for her devotion and service. “Like you, there are lakhs of nurses, paramedical staff, doctors, who like true ‘tapaswis’, are serving patients in various hospitals in the country right now. I would like to congratulate you. I am happy to have heard your experiences,” Modi said.

The civic-run Naidu Hospital has been treating majority of COVID-19 patients from Pune.

PM Modi on Wednesday, condemned harassment of doctors and nurses and also expressed “pain” at people targeting professionals handling emergency services during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“In this hour of crisis, those in white coats are a form of God. Today they are saving lives, putting their own lives in danger,” the Prime Minister said, responding to a doctor who said she felt upset at health workers being ostracized.

He appealed to the people to take an initiative to make those who ill-treat healthcare professionals understand that they are wrong.

PM Modi had earlier too tweeted and asked the people to not mistreat medical and other frontline fighters. He tweeted, (in Hindi) “In these difficult times, the doctors and nurses wearing white coats, are God sent. They are putting themselves in danger while saving lives of others. If you see people mistreating them, then go and make them understand. Doctors , nurses and medical staff save lives and we can never repay them for their work.”

India on Saturday recorded a sharp rise in the number of Coronavirus cases with 149 patients testing positive for the highly contagious disease — the highest single-day jump — taking the tally over 850 with the death toll at 19, according to the Union Health Ministry.

(With PTI inputs)