Star Indian sprinter Hima Das on Friday expressed sadness at incidents of attacks on police personnel and doctors trying to discharge their duties during the country-wide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
A DSP in Assam Police, Das said she expressed her sentiments during a video call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was also attended by more than 40 other athletes.
The PM urged India's top sportspersons, including cricket icon Virat Kohli and star shuttler P V Sindhu, to support awareness campaigns on social distancing.
"The PM told us the measures the government has taken to fight against coronavirus, especially in the health sector. We also told the PM what we were doing during the lockdown, how we were obeying the lockdown by staying inside our rooms," she said in a video shared later.
"The other thing I told the PM was: I feel sad that people attacked policemen and doctors by throwing stones at them. These people don't follow lockdown rules," she added referring to incidents of unruliness in Indore and Ghaziabad, which have triggered outrage.
Das, who was a part of the country's gold winning quartet in women's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay races in the Asian Games, advised people to remain indoors and practice social distancing till the coronavirus is eliminated root and branch.
"I told the PM that after this 21-day lockdown and till coronavirus is completely eliminated, these lockdown rules should be there, people should not go out of their homes and social distancing should remain in practice," said the runner from Assam who won a 400m gold in the World Junior Championships in Finland in 2018.
More than 40 athletes, along with sports minister Kiren Rijiju, participated in nearly an hour-long video call which started at 11am. The country is in a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
The Prime Minister sought the athletes' support to raise awareness about the need for social distancing and personal hygiene at a time when the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in India has crossed 2,000.