Indian PM addresses nation as country sees sharp rise in COVID-19 cases

India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the nation on the COVID-19 situation through video conferencing, in New Delhi on April 20. Photo courtesy of Press Information Bureau of India

NEW DELHI, April 21 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to all states in the country to resort to lockdown only as a last option and to instead concentrate on micro-containment zones as the country continued to see a sharp rise in its COVID-19 cases.

In a special live address to the nation on the COVID-19 situation in the country on Tuesday, Modi also called on the people to come forward and help the needy to overcome the fight against the virus while spreading awareness on the need to protect against the virus. He also called on the country’s vaccine manufacturers to ramp up the production of vaccine.

The Prime Minister also gave assurance that all was being done to meet the demand for oxygen nationwide due to the virus.

“Central government, state governments, private sector, all are trying their best to provide oxygen to every needy. Measures are also being taken at several levels to increase oxygen production and supply.”

India’s COVID-19 on Tuesday went up by more than 250,000 to 15.3 million, while deaths stood at 181,870. This has put a severe strain on hospital facilities and medical personnel as well.

According to the Press Information Bureau of India, the country’s total vaccination numbers have exceeded more than 12 million, with more than 320, 000 vaccine doses administered within a 24-hour period.

India on Monday also announced that all adults above 18 will be eligible for vaccination against the virus from May 1.

Meanwhile, India Today reported that the Prime Minister’s address on Tuesday followed a meeting with the country’s top vaccine manufacturers, where he had urged them to ramp up their vaccine production to ensure that all Indians are vaccinated at the earliest.