New Delhi : The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the COVID-19 situation today.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” said the Prime Minister. 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.The Prime Minister said that 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. Efforts to increase oxygen production and supply are on at various levels. Measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, Oxygen Rail are being undertaken.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. Due to this team effort, India has embarked upon the world’s largest vaccination drive with two ‘made in India’ Vaccines. 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. India gave first 10 crore, 11 crore and the 12 crore vaccine doses in the shortest time in the world.
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 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.The Prime Minister said that we have much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave. Shri 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 behaviour 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 said in today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown. He asked state governments to treat lockdown only as a measure of the last resort. We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown, the Prime Minister said.