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    Resolve of 130 crore Indians will help us defeat COVID-19: PM Modi on Independence Day

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday declared he was confident that India would win the war against COVID-19 when he addressed the nation on the occasion of Independence Day from the Red Fort in Delhi.

    Modi began his speech by paying tribute to freedom fighters, soldiers, personnel of the paramilitary forces and coronavirus warriors. Referring to recent natural disasters across the country, including floods and landslides, Modi said the Central and state governments were working together.

    Referring to the fight against COVID-19, Modi said “We will win over COVID19, the resolve of 130 crore Indians will help us win.”

    Modi declared 130 crore Indians took a pledge amid the pandemic to make India “Atmanirbhar” (self-reliant). Modi said Atmanirbhar Bharat is now a mantra.

    He also said that he was confident in the abilities of the youth and women of the country in realising dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

    The Independence Day celebration this year has been curtailed on account of the coronavirus pandemic, with number of invitees reduced. Invitees, including political leaders and diplomats sat in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

    All invitees had been requested to wear protective masks. An adequate number of masks were being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue. Similarly, availability of hand sanitisers at pre-defined locations had been done, officials said.

    Multi-layered security arrangements and measures to ensure social distancing are in place for the 74th Independence Day celebrations at the Mughal-era Red Fort.

    A security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, will be placed around the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation.

    Over 300 cameras have been installed for security and their footage is being monitored round-the-clock, police said.

    There will be around 4,000 security personnel at the Red Fort and they will stand in adherence with social distancing norms, they said.

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