Lockdown has ended, but virus still there; All must be cautious during festivities: PM

The prime minister said the government is making all efforts to ensure that a vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi


New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the government was working rapidly to ensure the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens once they are available.

“Whenever the corona vaccine comes, how it reaches to every Indian as soon as possible, the government is also working for that,” Modi said in a short speech in Hindi.

Earlier on Tuesday, India reported its lowest daily coronavirus caseload in nearly three months, as new cases continued to decline from a peak in September.

With the onset of the festival season, said this is not the time to be careless as the novel coronavirus is still around and even a small negligence can dampen the festive spirit.

In his seventh address to the nation following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi said many videos have surfaced in recent times that show many people having stopped taking precautions. "This is not the right thing to do," he said.

"If you are careless and moving around without mask, you are putting yourself, children and the elderly at risk," the prime minister said.

"We must keep in mind that lockdown may have ended, but the virus is still there," he said.

In Europe, America and other countries, the number of cases have seen a hike yet again after seeing a decline in the past, he noted.

We should continue to be careful and not be callous until a vaccine is found, Modi said.

The prime minister said the government is making all efforts to ensure that a vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian.

"We all must remember, there can be no laxity till a medicine is found," Modi said.

The country reported 46,790 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to nearly 7.6 million - the second highest behind the United States. It also reported 587 deaths, taking the total to 115,197.

Experts have warned that infections could rise in India as the holiday season nears, with celebrations for the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Diwali due this month and in mid-November, respectively.

The head of India’s clinical research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) told reporters on Tuesday that drugs such as the antiviral remdesivir and anti-malaria drug HCQ, touted as potential weapons against COVID-19, were not working as expected in India.

“Debate and discussion is ongoing and at the national task force and we will take into cognisance the results of these trials and issue advisories accordingly,” Balram Bhargava, the Director General of ICMR, said.


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