PM Modi addressing the nation
PM Modi addressing the nation

‘We have to save India from a lockdown’: PM Modi in address to nation

The Prime Minister added that micro containment zones should be focused on.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday and said that the country should work towards avoiding a lockdown. “Friends, in today’s situation, we have to save India from a lockdown. Lockdown should be the last measure. We have to prevent lockdowns. Micro containment zones should be focused on,” he said.

The Prime Minister started his speech saying, “India is again fighting a big battle against COVID-19. The situation was in control a few weeks ago and a new wave has come upon us like a storm. I understand the crisis that we are facing. Those people who have lost their loved ones, I want to express my condolences. As a member of a family, I share your sorrow. The challenge is big but we have to have the courage and spirit. I want to thank doctors, medical staff, para medical staff, sanitation workers, ambulance drivers, security personnel. You have risked your lives in this fight.”

Acknowledging that there is an increase in demand for oxygen, the PM said, “Centre, states, private sectors are all trying to make sure the needy get oxygen. Many steps are being taken to ramp up oxygen supply —  supplying 1 lakh new cylinders, oxygen express, etc.”

It was recently reported that the Union government took six months to finalise tenders for new oxygen plants. Though the Central Medical Services Society floated tenders in October to start 162 oxygen plants across the country, only 33 have come up.

The Prime Minister insisted that people should not step out of their homes unless necessary. "I request youth to make small small committees in their localities to ensure COVID-19 norms are followed, so that we will not need containment zones or even a lockdown. My young friends across the country have convinced people at homes to follow norms and take precautions. I want to tell them, make sure that without need, nobody steps out of their homes."

He then said, "Today is the last day of Navratri. Tomorrow Ram Navami, we should follow norms. Please follow COVID-19 norms. Do not forget — Dawaai bhi, kadai bhi  (Medicine also, strictness also). It is the seventh day of the holy month of Ramzan. Ramzan teaches us patience, self control and discipline."

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister met Chief Secretaries of various states, vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and doctors.

The Prime Minister’s address came on a day India reported over 2.59 lakh cases across the country over 24 hours, the highest single day spike recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. Several badly-affected states in India have imposed restrictions like night curfews and partial lockdowns as a measure to control the spread of COVID-19.

The Prime Minister went on to praise India’s efforts till now. “The pharma sector has ramped up medical production. There is much more production of medicines and this too is being increased. The situation that was there last year is different. At the time, we did not have COVID-19 specific medical infrastructure. We did not have enough labs, no PPE production, we did not have info on curing the disease, but we have improved on this and today our doctors have gained expertise and are saving a maximum number of lives, we now have PPE kits, labs, and are increasing testing capacity.”

"India has till now fought COVID-19 with patience and courage. This credit is to you citizens," he added.

Watch the Prime Minister's full address to the nation here: 

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