On April 20, 2021, PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation. In his speech, PM Modi said that lockdowns should be used as last resort by the states. PM Modi highlighted that states should instead focus on micro containment zones.

Background:

PM Modi’s address comes at a time when India has been witnessing every-day increase in daily COVID-19 cases. On April 20, India recorded the sixth straight day where cases were over 2,00,000. Tuesday was another dark day as India came closer to the 3-lakh mark and register a record 2,94,365 cases.

Modi starts the speech by acknowledging the COVID-19 situation, calls it a storm

PM Modi started his speech by acknowledging how the COVID-19 situation in the country has worsened. “The situation had improved, but the second wave has come and hit us like a storm”, said PM Modi. He then moved to sharing his empathy with the citizens of the country and said how he is sensitive to the pain the countrymen have been enduring and are going through.

PM Sympathises with those who lost their lives, asks people to have courage and dedication

In a gesture of sympathy, PM Modi expressed his sympathies to those who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19. “Just like a member of your family, I am with you in your hour of sadness. It is through dedication and courage that we will overcome this tough time together. The battle is long but we will overcome it,” said Mr. Modi.

“Thank you for putting your lives at stake”: PM Modi to front-line workers

After touching over the loss of lives, the Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude and thanked all the front-line workers including the doctors, medical staff, paramedical personnel, ambulance drivers, police and security personnel, etc. “I thank you for putting your lives at stake to save others.”

Pharma sector is ramping up vaccine manufacturing: PM Modi

Later in the speech PM Modi started to highlight the recent decisions by the Centre that will help “improve the situation.” Mr. Modi also said how the India’s pharma sector will be ramping up its vaccine manufacturing more. Moreover, he said how the Centre is increasing its efforts to increase the bed capacity in hospitals of states where the needs are of dire nature.

Centre, Private Sector and State Govts, all have come together: PM Modi

The Centre, the private sector and the state governments, all have come together and are committed to ensure that every needy COVID-19 patient gets a bed or oxygen in time, said Mr. Modi. To this he also claimed that efforts have been ramped up to increase the oxygen production and supply.

Vaccine manufacturers have shown enterprise and innovative spirit

Prime Minister also said that the enterprise and the innovative spirit shown by the vaccine manufacturers have helped India to get two Made in India vaccines. Because of this, India was able to kick off the world’s largest vaccination drive.

All adults above 18 eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

Mr. Modi also touched up Centre’s decision of liberalizing the vaccination policy. “Yesterday, we took an important decision. From May 1st, all adults aged above 18 will be able to get COVID-19 vaccine in India,” said the Prime Minister.

Also read: COVID-19 Vaccination Drive Phase 3: Starting May 1 everyone above 18 eligible to be vaccinated

States should induce confidence in migrant workers

After the nation saw hundreds of thousands of migrants leaving urban cities in 2020, Mr. Modi asked the state governments to ensure that migrants don’t do so this year. “I urge the state governments that they give confidence to migrants so that they stay wherever they are and not return. The states should also convince the migrants to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Mr. Modi said during his speech.

Lockdown should be last resort, focus should be on containment zones

The Prime Minister also appealed to the state governments that they should consider a complete lockdown as the last resort to fight against the pandemic. PM Modi urged the states that they should focus on micro containment zones to break the chain of the infection.

Youths and children should preach COVID-19 appropriate behaviour

Coming close to the end of his address to the nation, PM Modi asked the citizens of the nation to help those who are in need. He especially highlighted the youth and the children of the country to form small committees in their localities, societies and teach appropriate COVID-19 behaviour. “If everyone acts in maryada (modesty), there will be no need for another lockdown,” said Mr. Modi.