A nation battles coronavirus – 65 quotes from India’s journey in tackling COVID-19

In this new compilation series, we present powerful quotes that frame India’s coronavirus challenge, and capture its response in containing the fallout.
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Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous post here). Share these quotes and excerpts with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights. See also our compilation of Top Entrepreneurship Quotes of 2019 here.

The coronavirus outbreak has posed serious challenges to India’s healthcare community, but responses from affordable ventilators to interactive apps are emerging. Companies are reinventing themselves to survive and even thrive, as new opportunities open up in online education, entertainment and collaboration.

From government thinktanks to global multilateral organisations, expert opinions and impact forecasts are being shared. Safe practices and best practices are being proposed across the board. Resilience, hope and compassion are the need of the hour, as these quotes below demonstrate.

In response to the crisis, YourStory has set up the Resource Centre for Startups and SMBs. When worry, fear, and misinformation are spreading, this online resource helps set the record straight through expert advice, business tips, workflow suggestions, and updates on how Indian organisations are dealing with the crisis. See also our pick of 60 quotes on coping with a crisis.



For this generation, the world is going to be irrevocably altered. How and in what way will be spoken about in the next decade. - Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

Not only have the deck of cards we were playing with shuffled, but we have dealt with a completely new deck. - Sanil Sachar, Trusox

Things that once took months, are now being carried out in a matter of days. - TN Hari, BigBasket

It is very challenging. But also an amazing opportunity to unlearn, relearn, and test our capabilities and value systems. - Sudeep Ralhan, Walmart Labs

These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented efforts. - Niraj Ranjan, Hiver

The pandemic has pushed us into maintaining social distancing, but the challenge is also to remain hyper-connected via the internet and isolate COVID-19. - Osama Manzar, DEF

Nobody has ever been prepared for a disruption of this scale. - Sujeet Kumar, Udaan

If you have never failed, you have never been tested, and then you haven't seen your best yet. A setback is only an opportunity for you to come back stronger. - Deep Malhotra, BeckFriends

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. - Anne Frank



The need of the hour is to enable doctors to support the maximum number of people even with the travel and geographic restrictions. - Pankaj Agarwal, Cisco

Healthcare workers getting infected is the worst thing to happen because healthcare professionals are most required resource at this time. - Mudit Dandwate, Dozee

We would ask for the same schemes that are being extended to healthcare workers to be extended to allied workers. - Masood Mallick, Ramky Enviro Engineers

WHO has already declared that open suctioning of the saliva and secretion is one of the ways for transmission of coronavirus. - Nitesh Kumar Jangir, Coeo Labs

People are looking for customised apps to assist health workers and volunteers, and apps in local languages. - Sarthak Jain, Clappia

Language is no barrier when it comes to the official coronavirus chatbot. - Haptik

We have a shortage of doctors, compared to our population. - Jagdish Chaturvedi, ENT surgeon

A minimum of two patients can be helped with one ventilator. - Bharath Patil, Cradlewise

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that we are all facing today, one thing that is constantly worrying the government and the hospitals is ventilator shortage. - Rafiq Somani, Ansys

Healthcare needs and benefits during this period further become essential needs as preventive measures take centre stage. - Ranjith Boyanapalli, Flipkart

Many viruses fail to infect people if the relative humidity level is maintained at around 40 percent. - Abhishek Gupta, OxyGarden

There is the logistic challenge as well. Even if we have trained professionals in Lucknow, how do you transport the live virus back to a lab in Gurugram? - Rajat Garg, MyUpchar

In many cases, the patient has to be shown at the private hospital first. Then they will have to be shifted to a government hospital if there is a confirmation of COVID-19 in the patients. - Prabhdeep Singh, StanPlus

Providing meals to the economically weaker sections and testing kits to diagnostic units are critical requirements at this stage. - Ahmed ElSheikh, PepsiCo

It is incumbent on us that we not only follow the rules ourselves but also urge other people to do the same. - Prashant Ruia, Essar Capital

There is a fear among millions today, and we need to solve this fear. - Biresh Giri, Acko

Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes. - Antonio Guterres, UN

All of us can also do our bit by actively raising our voice on the social media against the discrimination and stigma that coronavirus fighters and victims are being subjected to. - Neerja Birla, MPower

There are many who wash vegetables with warm water before using but the same cannot be done with currency notes or wallets. - Naresh Rakha, IIT Ropar

Sanitisation of public places is going to be very crucial in the coming months when movements will not be restricted, but due precautions will need to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus. - Senthilmurugan Subbiah, IIT Guwahati

This is a great time to be mindful of your sexual health, which has proven benefits beyond pleasure: enhanced moods, better sleep, and reduced stress. - Lora DiCarlo

Those who don’t have in-house partners should just stick to phone or video sex. - Dr PP Bose



It is imperative to focus on both aspects, 'jaan bhi jahan bhi', for India's bright future, and a prosperous and healthy India. - PM Narendra Modi

A lot of pet parents will come out of this lockdown with a better routine with their cats and dogs. It’s time to rebuild and reboot. - Devanshi Shah, PetKonnect

There has been a surge in the buying of pet food, medicines, supplements from pharmacies. - Anushka Iyer, Wiggles

With travel bans across countries, tourism has been impacted the most. - Natesh Rajagopalan and Sumita Tulsiani, TravelDilSe

Senior citizens need special measures to adapt to contactless grocery deliveries. - Anant Goel, Milkbasket

While the current environment is clearly a difficult one for the hospitality industry, the desire to travel and have authentic experiences is fundamental and enduring. - Egon Durban, Silver Lake

Disruption due to coronavirus could result in 18-20 percent erosion of nationwide occupancy across the hospitality sector. - Rajeev Singh, ICC

The current situation will severely impact co-working companies that are yet to figure out a viable model to scale the business. - Aditya Verma, The Office Pass

The consumer may not be able to buy during the lockdown, but it is a great opportunity for them to consume content, use this time wisely. - Honey Singh, ARM Worldwide

This is the right time for supply chain leaders to act; to leverage technology to transform their supply chains – not only to overcome the COVID-19 disruption but also to prepare for the future. - Praphul Chandra, KoineArth



It is natural that consumption of non-essential goods will fall in such times. Most commerce platforms are facing this. - Nitiin Raj Gupta, Mall91

It is logical to expect consumers to over-stock on essential products and commodities. - KPMG

Online learning for reskilling, including sign-ups for global online degrees, is going to be on a rise in the future. Learning will continue even during this crisis. - Mayank Kumar, upGrad

With the outbreak of coronavirus, Indian educational institutions are also adopting digital transformation across different verticals of their functions. - Abhinav Sekhri, Admission24

Remote work is a critical strategy to maintain business continuity. Since diminished productivity is a risk, establish clear policies and processes in place to ensure positive performance. - Alexander Varghese, UST Global

Collaborative tools, video streaming apps, and gaming apps now account for around 80 percent of the total internet traffic in India. - Ivo Ivanov, DE-CIX

There is a lot happening in the Streaming/OTT space! Users have a lot of good content to choose from and discovery is the key. - Jigar Doshi, Flixjini

The rapid spread of coronavirus and the lockdown imposed in the country has had a significant impact on goods movement and freight availability. - Shamsher Dewan, ICRA

It is important to think of three things you are grateful for when you get up in the morning. That keeps the focus on the meaning of our lives. - Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

84 percent of India’s workforce is employed through informal means. - Rituparna Chakraborty, TeamLease

In India, with a share of almost 90 percent of people working in the informal economy, about 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. - ILO

These are difficult and unprecedented times for our society. It requires a combined effort from all the stakeholders to combat the crisis. - Rampraveen Swaminathan, MLL

A scenario involving a salary cut among employees would be preferable to the alternative of laying off or retrenching employees in these times. - Vinay Joy, Khaitan & Co,

The first things we reach out for when we are lonely, are comfort foods. - Deepa Kannan, PFNR

When the coronavirus wave dies down, all companies in the market will be looking for more working capital. - Aljo Joseph, Finovate Capital

Experts have a large role to play in the battle against COVID-19, but the situation is unprecedented. There is a lack of data and low predictability. - Mekin Maheshwari, Udhyam.org



Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy. - Joycelyn Elders

Today, the nation's goal, mission and resolve are one, and this is to be victorious in this battle against the coronavirus pandemic. - PM Narendra Modi

Thanks to its phased approach, unlike other countries, there was no shock reaction to the pandemic. Because Taiwan tackled it step-by-step, it was way ahead of any other nation, in a manner that gave its people enough time to face it without panic. - Shashank Keshavmurthy, Academia Sinica

Social partnerships and agility of platform companies are helping people tide over this crisis. - Carson Dalton, Ola Mobility Institute

Prolonged lockdowns would exacerbate economic troubles. India's growth may fall below 3 percent under this scenario. - KPMG

What is likely to happen is consumer habits and preferences will change quite a bit. What we see now is a greater focus on health, hygiene and protection. - Vivek Gambhir, GCPL

It’s imperative that we shouldn’t be pushy at the moment - be it with clients or employees, and instead work together. - Srikanth Velamakani, Fractal Analytics

Whatever, you do, there should be a genuine purpose behind it. There will never be a better time for a brand to turn itself into a “brand with a purpose”. - Neeraj Sancheti, Kreativ Street

This is the best time to reflect on repositioning your business not just to survive, but to thrive in this new world! - Neetish Sarda, Smartworks

Corporates need to assess the situation, anticipate what's next, and how to manage it. - Amit Jain, ZNation Lab

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).