Cautioning the nation that while the lockdown is over, the coronavirus is still there, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the people not to be careless and lower their guard during the festival season.
The battle against Covid-19 would not be over and successful until a vaccine was found, the Prime Minister said. “In this festive season, the markets are bright again but we should not forget that the lockdown might have ended but Covid-19 still persists,” Modi said in a 12-minute address to the nation on Tuesday evening.
“With the efforts of every Indian over the last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation, and we must not let it deteriorate. We should improve it further,” he said.
The Prime Minister spoke in the backdrop of repeated warnings by experts that with nearly all activities having returned to normal, the festival season may result in a surge of infections.
This was Modi’s seventh address to the nation since the outbreak of the pandemic. Since June, India has gradually lifted the curbs that were imposed with the lockdown in March.
Every Indian has struggled during the pandemic, the Prime Minister said, but the economic situation has now begun to slowly improve.
He pointed out that India had done better in terms of mortality rate and recovery rate compared with countries like the United States and Brazil. “Our recovery rate is among the highest in the world, the fatality rate is low,” Modi said.
“Out of every million, we have around 83 deaths. This, compared to other nations, which have seen around 600 deaths per million, is much better. We have more than 90 lakh beds, 12,000 quarantine centres, 2,000 labs for Covid testing. India will soon cross the 10 crore mark in Covid testing. This has been our strength.”
The Prime Minister also lauded health workers for their selfless service during the crisis. But, Modi cautioned, “This is not the time to be careless, this is not the time to think that Corona is gone or that there is no danger from it. These days we see a lot of pictures and videos in which people are seen being careless or not taking the virus seriously. This is not at all right. If you are careless, walking out without a mask, then you are putting yourself, your family, your children, the elderly at risk.”
In Europe, America, and other countries, Modi said, the number of cases have spiked again after falling. “We should continue to be careful and not be callous until the vaccine for the virus is developed.”
Modi quoted from Kabir that a farmer could not be overconfident, for until the crop reaches home, his work is not done. “Similarly, our battle will not be over until a vaccine is developed,” he said, adding that scientists around the world have been working on it on a war footing.
Indian scientists too, have been working on the vaccine, and there is some good news on that front, the Prime Minister said. The government, he said, is working on ways to reach the vaccine to every Indian once it is developed.
“Till the time we do not get the vaccine, even a little irresponsibility can harm us and all those around us. Wear masks, maintain do gaz ki doori, wash hands regularly, use sanitisers, and do not venture out unless absolutely necessary,” he said.
He quoted warnings in the Ramcharitmanas – that fire, enemy and disease should not be taken lightly. “It is a time of festivals. It is a time for happiness. We are coming out of bad times. A little carelessness can cause big problems. I want you and your family to be safe.”
The Prime Minister greeted people on the occasion of festivals such as Navratri, Dussehra, Eid, Deepawali, Chhath Puja and Guru Nanak Jayanti.
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