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Lockdown should be last resort: PM

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Says country will overcome second COVID wave with combined efforts of all

New Delhi: With India grappling with the second wave of Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday emphasised that lockdown should be the last resort and urged the state/UT governments to focus more on micro-containment zones.

In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister said states must allay the concerns of migrant workers by assuring them that their jobs will remain with them. PM Modi also asked the states to inform them that they will be vaccinated in the next few days.

“I urge state and city administrations to convince the migrants to stay back so that they can be vaccinated there. Assure them that their livelihood will also not be stripped off,” he said.

On Tuesday, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 1,53,21,089 with 2,59,170 new coronavirus infections being reported in the last 24 hours, while active cases surpassed the 20-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

With Covid cases spreading at an alarming rate, the Prime Minister has been chairing a flurry of meetings with various stakeholders in order to tackle the situation. On Monday, he met country’s leading doctors and top pharma companies to discuss the situation. Shortly after that, the Centre announced all adults will be eligible for vaccines from May 01.

PM Modi also urged citizens, especially the youths, to come forward to help the needy. He also urged them to form small committees in their areas and create awareness about Covid protocols, so that there will be no need to impose lockdown or designate containment zones.

“We gain confidence from the fact that our healthcare workers, frontline workers and a large part of our senior citizens have already been vaccinated,” he said.

“We should not lose out patience even at hardest of times. Country is working day and night following this motto,” he said.

The country is again faced with a big battle against COVID-19 and conditions will improve with the decisions taken in recent days, he said.

Modi said the people were undergoing suffering but “we need to fight it out with all our might” and expressed confidence that the coronavirus will be defeated with the combined efforts of the people.

“I want to thank our doctors and all our healthcare workers for working non-stop in this fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Modi noted that pharma sector was working relentlessly to meet all COVID-19 challenges, including on vaccine development and supply.

The prime minister said that the shortage of oxygen cylinders has come across as a major problem and said all stakeholders were working collectively to meet this challenge.

The situation is different from last year when there was no COVID vaccine in the country or infrastructure to produce PPE kits and other much-needed medical goods, he noted.

He said lockdown should be the last option and focus should be on micro-containment.

“If we all follow COVID-19 protocols, there’ll be no need to impose lockdowns,” Modi said.

He urged the people to reduce their movement and take vaccination.

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