Use lockdown only as absolute last resort: PM Modi tells States

In his televised address to the nation, the PM appealed to workplaces to use this as an opportunity to vaccinate their workforce

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted States to only resort to lockdown as an absolute last resort and that were everyone to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour, there would be no need for stringent reactions.

Click here for updates on Narendra Modi’s speech

“We have to save ourselves from a lockdown and do our best to avoid it and I request States to pay more attention to effectively managing micro containment zones,” he said in his 20-minute address in the evening that was unexpectedly announced with a 45 minute notice.

Referring to the ongoing month of Ramzan as well as the festival of Ram Navami, PM Modi said that just as these occasions were reminders to be compassionate, restrained and exhibit self control, in the same way it was imperative on everyone to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

He appealed to children to ensure that they cajoled elders into not stepping out without cause. Unlike a year ago, when the pandemic hit and India had inadequate testing kits, PPE suits, and little understanding of how it could be managed, there was much more knowledge now. He said youth in residential areas should form committees to enforce appropriate COVID behaviour discipline.

The government’s decision to make vaccines more widely available would translate to affordable vaccines for all adults. “I would appeal to workplaces to use this as an opportunity to vaccinate their workforce so that nobody would have to move and leave the cities and their places of work.”

He alluded to the prevailing oxygen supply crisis and said that Indian industry as well as the transport sector was working hard to ensure that it was available as quickly as possible in places needed.

He said that the second wave was a major challenge but with collective enterprise the country could overcome the challenges it posed.


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