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State govts should treat lockdown only as measure of last resort: PM

New Delhi: Stating that there was a need to prevent the country from COVID-19 lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked state governments to treat lockdown only as a measure of the last resort.

”In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown,” Mr Modi said while addressing the nation on the COVID-19 situation.

”We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister requested the state governments that they should boost the confidence of the workers and convince them to stay wherever they are.

”This confidence by the states will greatly help the workers and labourers and they will get the vaccine wherever they are and their work will also not suffer,” he said.

Speaking about the yesterday’s vaccine related decision, the Prime Minister said that after 1st May, every person above 18 years of age can be vaccinated. Half of the vaccine produced in India will go directly to the states and hospitals.

The Prime Minister emphasized that along with saving lives, effort is to save the economic activities and ensure minimum adverse impact on the livelihood of the people. By opening vaccination for 18 years and above population, vaccine will be available quickly for the workforce in the cities.

The Prime Minister said that that ”our scientists came out with the vaccine in a very short time and today India has the cheapest vaccine in the world which is compatible with the cold-chain available in India”.

He said due to this team effort, India has embarked upon the world’s largest vaccination drive with two ‘Made in India’ Vaccines.

The Prime Minister said from the very first phase of the vaccination drive, it has been emphasized that the vaccine reaches the maximum areas and to the people who need it.

He said India gave first 10 crore, 11 crore and the 12 crore vaccine doses in the shortest time in the world.
The Prime Minister said the Government is working with speed and sensitivity to meet the increasing demand of oxygen in the various parts of the country.

Centre, State Governments and private sector are trying that every needy person gets oxygen, he said.
The Prime Minister said efforts to increase oxygen production and supply are on at various levels.

He said measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, Oxygen Rail are being undertaken.

”We have much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Modi credited the people of India for a good and patient fight.
He said, with the strength of people’s participation, ”we will be able to defeat this wave of Corona too”.
He saluted the contribution of social organizations who are helping the people in the time of need and called upon everyone to move forward to help the people who require help.

The Prime Minister, called upon the youth to help in maintaining covid appropriate behavior in their areas and neighbourhood. This will help in avoiding containment zones, curfews or lockdowns.

He also asked children to create an atmosphere where their family members avoid going out unnecessarily.
The Prime Minister expressed condolences for the lives lost to the pandemic in the recent times.

”I am with you in this time of grief as a family member. The challenge is huge, we have to overcome it collectively with determination, courage and preparation,” the Prime Minister said.

He also paid tribute to the doctors, medical staff, paramedical staff, sanitation workers, ambulance drivers, security forces and police force for their contribution in the fight against Corona.

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