NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled out the chances of lockdown in the country, implying that the lockdown would be exerted as a last resort.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday, the PM urged states not to resort to a complete lockdown but proposed 'micro containment zones' restrictions.
The address comes in the wake of the country reporting record daily high cases and deaths for the past few days.
In his address, the prime minister said: "In today's circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown. We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown."
The Prime Minister remarked that along with saving lives, the effort is underway to save the economic activities and to ensure the minimum adverse impact on the livelihood of the people.
"By opening vaccination for those who are 18 years and above, the vaccine will be available quickly for the workforce in the cities," he said.
The Prime Minister suggested the state governments to boost the confidence of the migrant 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," Modi said.
About the shortage of oxygen being reported in several parts of the country, Modi said that the government is working with speed and sensitivity to meet the increasing demand for oxygen.
"The Centre, state governments and private sector are trying to ensure that every needy person gets oxygen," he added.
He also emphasized the efforts being carried to increase oxygen production and supply are at various levels.
"Measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, are being undertaken," he said.
The Prime Minister also lauded the remarkable efforts of our scientists for coming with the vaccine in a very short time and remarking how India has the cheapest vaccine in the world.
He further stated that from the very first phase of the vaccination drive, it has been emphasized that the vaccine reaches the maximum number of areas, and to the people who need it.
He pointed out that India gave the first 10 crores, 11 crore and the 12 crore vaccine doses in the shortest time in the world.
Speaking about the government's decision on permitting people above 18 years to get vaccinated, he said that half of the vaccine produced in India will go directly to the states and hospitals.
The Prime Minister further emphasised that the country has much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave.
Modi also credited the people of India for a good and patient fight. "With the strength of people's participation, we will be able to defeat this wave of Corona too," he said.
He saluted the contribution of social organisations 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 also 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 offered condolences for the lives of people lost to the pandemic.