Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday during his address to the nation, warned people to not be lax or careless about taking precautions for COVID-19. He said that the lockdown may be over, but Coronavirus is not gone.

In his address on national television, PM Modi said that people have fought the virus bravely right from the start, and now normal life is getting back on track, and people are going outside on work. “But let us not forget, that the lockdown may be over, but the virus is not gone,” he warned. He said that the festive season is ahead and people are happy but there is no scope to be careless about precautions — such as wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands regularly.

He said that in India, the fatality rate has been low and the recovery rate is good. For every 10 lakh people, 5,500 have contracted Coronavirus in India, where this rate in the US and Brazil is 25,000. He mentioned that deaths per 10 lakh population in India has been 83, but it has been over 6,000 in countries such as the US, Brazil, UK and so on. PM Modi highlighted that India has been successful in saving lives, and there are now over 90 lakh beds available in India for the patients, along with 12,000 quarantine centres, and soon the number of tests done in the country will cross 10 crore. He said that the number of tests done in India has been the highlight of fighting the virus. “Now is not the time for laxity, there is no scope to think that Coronavirus is gone or that it is not dangerous any more,” Modi said.

The PM mentioned how some recent videos indicated that many people are not following rules and they are being careless. “That is not right. If you are going out without masks, you are risking your own life and that of your family, the elderly and children in particular,” he warned. He said that many countries have faced a crisis for being lax. He said that till the battle is won completely, people should not make the mistake that the war against COVID is over.

He said that COVID vaccine is being worked on, and the government is working on reaching that to people once it is introduced.

There have been 75,97,063 Coronavirus cases in India so far, with 1,15,197 deaths. The total recovery has been 67,33,328 and currently there are 7,48,538 active cases across the country. While the figures have been showing some improvement, in some areas such as Kerala and in West Bengal, the festive season — Onam (which is over) and Durga Puja (which is coming) — have led to spike in cases. The shopping spree relating to festivals has led to an increase in cases. There are several festivals ahead — such as Diwali, Chhat Puja, and so on, so the fear of similar increase in other parts of the country is also feared. In this backdrop, the Prime Minister’s address is being thought of as significant.

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