Union Minister for MSME, road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, believes that the novel coronavirus is man-made and was prepared in a laboratory. Speaking to Outlook’s Bhavna Vij-Aurora in an exclusive interview, the union minister said that he doesn’t believe Covid-19 is caused by a natural virus and that is why the scientific community world over “from the US to China” is struggling to find a way to fight it.

“This coronavirus is an artificial virus, prepared in the laboratory. This is not a natural virus. That is the reason why our medical experts and scientists don’t have any solution to it. They never expected it,” Gadkari said, adding, “Therefore, we still have no vaccine or the perfect detection system.”

Till the world finds a vaccine or a treatment for coronavirus, He said, there is no other option but to live with it.

“We don’t have any date on which we are going to be free from this and it is unpredictable. So it is better that we learn how to fight corona and at the same time how to live with corona,” he told Outlook.

He also said migrant workers want to go back home because of fear and lack of confidence. “We need to create confidence in the minds of the people. Now the industry is open but migrant labourers are not ready to reside there. We have started our work on the national highway. Already 90 per cent of work has started. It is time for the entire world to understand the new art of living, taking corona into consideration. Mandatory use of masks, maintaining more than one-metre distance between two persons, handwashing and sanitising have to be followed stringently. We have to fight Corona and also the economic war,” Gadkari said.

With China under fire from the world for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister believes that it is “hundred per cent a blessing in disguise for India.” He said the entire world is wary of China and it is a golden opportunity for India. “Even our MSMEs can upgrade the technology and increase their export potential, and also attract foreign investment. We are especially concentrating on this issue and interacting with ambassadors of various countries and asking them how we can help them in setting-up industries in different parts of the country,” Gadkari said.

According to him, the state governments are also ready now, with many of them changing their laws. “The total atmosphere is very favourable for investment and if we get some foreign investment at this time, it is going to increase our export, reduce our import and create more employment potential,” he said.

Watch this space for the full interview.

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