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In festive season, PM Modi warns: Lockdown may be over, but virus still around

On the vaccine front, PM Modi said, "All countries are working on a war-footing for making Covid-19 vaccine. Government is making all efforts to ensure that vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 20, 2020 10:51:49 pm
PM Modi said the fatality rate of India was much lower than countries like the US, Brazil, Spain and Britain (Screengrab)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday warned the people against letting their guard down in the fight against Covid-19 in the festive season, saying the lockdown might have ended but the virus was still around. Addressing the nation, PM Modi also said the government was preparing to make Covid-19 vaccines accessible to all Indians as soon as it was available.

“In this festive season, markets are bright again but we must keep in mind that lockdown may have ended but virus is still there. With efforts of every Indian over last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation we must not let it deteriorate. Of late we have seen videos that show many people have stopped taking precautions; this is not right,” PM Modi said.

In his nearly 13-minute speech, PM Modi also touched upon the Covid-19 situation in the country, saying the fatality rate of India was much lower than countries like the US, Brazil, Spain and Britain. Follow LIVE Updates

“The fatality rate in India is 83 out of every 10 Lakh population in India, whereas it is more than 600 in countries like the US, Brazil, Spain, Britain,” he said.

He also said the recovery rate in the country was good while stressing that this was not the time to be careless or to believe that Covid-19 had ended.

“5,500 people out of every 10 lakh population in India are infected, whereas in countries like the US and Brazil this figure is around 25,000. We will soon cross the 10-crore tests mark. Increased testing has been a big strength in our fight against Covid-19,” the prime minister said.

The number of new coronavirus infections in India dropped below 50,000 for the first time in nearly three months, taking the Covid-19 caseload to 75,97,063. A total of 46,790 fresh infections were reported, while the death toll climbed to 1,15,197 with 587 fatalities. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has crossed 67 lakh, pushing the national recovery rate to 88.63 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.

On the vaccine front, PM Modi said, “All countries are working on a war-footing for making Covid-19 vaccine. Government is making all efforts to ensure that vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian.”

According to the government, three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase III. The government had previously estimated that it is likely to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses of Covid vaccine and that as many as 25 crore individuals could be vaccinated by July 2021.

Last week, PM Modi said to ensure speedy access to Covid-19 vaccine, the delivery system could learn from the successful conduct of elections and disaster management. Chairing a meeting to review the Covid-19 pandemic and preparedness of vaccine delivery, PM Modi is also learnt to have underlined the use of a strong IT backbone for vaccine administration.

“The Prime Minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vials, syringes,” a government statement said.

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