PM Narendra Modi stresses that lockdown will be the last option, says centre and states are working on oxygen supply
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation, on Tuesday, amidst the alarming number of COVID-19 cases in India.
- Modi added that he has asked states to only implement a lockdown as a measure of last resort.
- As of Tuesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 1,53,21,089 with 2,59,170 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day.
Modi said that until a few weeks “the situation was fine.” He said, “now the second wave is like a cyclone. The pain you are going through, I understand it. The people who have lost loved ones in the past few days, I express my sympathies to the families.”
Modi also “saluted” all the doctors, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers, security force, and the police force who were involved in fighting the COVID-19 crisis. “You helped the nation during the first wave, now once again you are saving lives day and night,” he said in the televised address to the nation.
AdvertisementHere are the highlights from PM Modi’s speech
The decisions taken in the past few days, will help stabilise the situation soon. Across the country, the demand for oxygen is very high. We are working on it. Central and state governments, the private sector is working to ensure every needy person gets access to oxygen.
As soon as the cases of COVID increased, the pharma sector started manufacturing even more medicines. To raise production, the pharma companies are helping in every way. I spoke with the pharma leaders, to increase production. Seeing the demand in some cities, COVID-19 hospitals are also being built.
We’re very fortunate to have such a strong pharma sector, which makes good quality medicines in good time.
Along with this, there is also work ongoing to increase the number of beds in hospitals.
In some cities, there is excess demand, which is why bigger hospitals are also being constructed.
Last year, when only a few COVID-19 patients were discovered, India had already embarked on the hunt for a vaccine against this virus.
Today, the world’s cheapest vaccine is now available in India. And, it is as per India’s cold storage chain. In this endeavour, our private sector has been a prime example of innovation and enterprise.
Vaccine approvals and regulatory processes have been kept on the fast track. Alongside, all scientific and regulatory help has been increased. This is a team effort because of which India has been able to kick off the largest vaccination drive in the world with two made-in-India vaccines.
India has administered, 10 crore, then 11 crore and now 12 crore vaccine doses till date.
We have taken another major decision with respect to vaccines. After May 1, anyone over the age of 18 can get vaccinated. All of the vaccines made in India, 50% will be available to state governments and private hospitals. The existing program of free vaccines at government hospitals will continue.
By opening up vaccinations for people above the age of 18, the vaccine will be able to the workforce centered in urban areas.
The circumstances are not as grim this time, as they were during the first wave of the pandemic. We didn’t know which drugs would be effective, we didn’t have the infrastructure… There were no labs for testing, there was no production of PPEs, no knowledge on how to treat COVID-19.
But we improved on all of these points in a very short span of time. Indian doctors have been able to gain expertise within this time span.
Now, we have a huge network of labs, medicines for treatment… and we plan to have more testing.
Now, we see all round us organisations and people who are working around the clock to help out during the pandemic. I sincerely thank all of these people. I also encourage other citizens to step out and help those in need.
I encourage the youth to create small committees within their society, neighbourhoods and apartment buildings to help people adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
If we do this on our own, then there will be no need for the government to create containment zones, implement curfews or even call for a lockdown.
Dear kids, make sure nobody is leaving the house until and unless it is for essential work.
We must avoid a lockdown. I request states too, to only implement a lockdown as a measure of last resort.
Please do everything you can to avoid lockdowns.
Micro containment zones should be implemented effectively.
Today, is the last day of Navrati. Tomorrow is Ram Navmi. And, the god Ram only has one message for his follower — please adhere to the boundaries that have been set.
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