Lockdown should be treated as the last resort, states need to focus on micro-containment zones: PM Modi

Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked the youth to form small committees and teach people about COVID-19 precautionary guidelines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night, discussing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

He said, "The country is again faced with a big battle against COVID-19; the second wave has come across as a major crisis. It's a big challenge, but we need to fight it out with all our might. "

"The challenge before us is big but we have to overcome it with our resolve, courage, and preparation," added Modi.

He urged states to focus on micro-containment zones and said that complete lockdown should only be used as the last resort.

He also asked the youth of the country to form small committees and teach people about COVID-19 precautionary guidelines. Doing so, said the PM, will help us not impose containment zones, or curfews, or a lockdown.

He also applauded frontline workers across the country for their service to the nation. Saying that the pharma sector is working relentlessly to meet all COVID-19 challenges, including vaccine development, usage of the right medicines, he said,

"Efforts have been made to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach all nooks and corners of the country."

The PM's address comes on a day when India registered 2,59,170 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the overall tally to 1,53,21,089. The overall death toll rose to 1,80,530 with the addition of a record 1,761 new fatalities.

This was the PM's first address on the COVID-19 situation this year, and came at a time when the country is been facing a shortage of vaccines, medical oxygen, and anti-viral drugs including Remdesivir used in the treatment of serious COVID-19 patients.

The PM also held a virtual meeting with vaccine manufacturers from across the country. Commending the scientists for their efforts, he urged them to continuously scale up the production capacity so that everyone in India can be vaccinated as soon as possible.

On Monday, the government announced that all citizens of the country above the age of 18 years will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 starting May 1.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta