Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Lockdown News Live Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the second wave has swept the country like a "toofan" (storm), and called on citizens not to lose heart in this adversity.
Coronavirus India Live Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation on Tuesday night, said the second wave of Covid-19 has swept the country like a “toofan” (storm), and called on citizens not to lose heart in this adversity. He requested states to use lockdown as a last resort, and focus only on micro-containment zones.
PM Modi’s address was delivered as more states announced restrictions to contain the spread of the disease. On Tuesday, Telangana imposed night curfew till May 1 while Karnataka announced a weekend curfew and lockdown at night. A lockdown ordered by the Allahabad High Court in five cities of Uttar Pradesh was, meanwhile, put on hold by the Supreme Court.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to announced a complete lockdown from Wednesday evening. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the cabinet had decided on a complete lockdown in the state from 8 pm Wednesday, and the CM was to make the announcement today.
In other news, the Centre’s decision to allow anyone above the age of 18 to get vaccinated from May 1 gives the already strained machinery all of 10 days to gear up for the logistical challenge. India is relying on the limited supply of just two vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The move has been criticised by the Opposition, while the BJP state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Assam have announced free vaccines for all.
Coronavirus India Live Updates: PM Narendra Modi says use lockdown as a last resort; Telangana imposes night curfew; Karnataka announces weekend curfew, night lockdown; Supreme Court puts on hold lockdowns in Uttar Pradesh; Opposition criticises Centre’s decision to allow universal vaccination.
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With the Centre opening up Covid-19 vaccination to all above 18 from May 1, Opposition Chief Ministers and some experts have raised questions on stocks and pricing given that 50% has been earmarked for the “open market.” Arguing that no other country had done this so far, they said this places a financial burden on the states.
“When the number of cases in the second wave is spiralling like anything, the Centre has chosen to tactically indulge in empty rhetoric and shy away from its responsibility for making available vaccines to the people of the country,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan underlined that given the ongoing economic distress, “the additional burden of purchasing Covid vaccines will place considerable strain on state finances.”
Good morning and welcome to our live blog on the Covid-19 situation in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night, saying the second wave of Covid-19 has swept the country like a “toofan” (storm). He called on citizens not to lose heart in this adversity. He requested states to use lockdown as a last resort, and focus only on micro-containment zones.
At a Covid-19 isolation centre at CWG in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)
PM Narendra Modi on second wave of Covid-19: Need to do our best to avert lockdown
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the situation today was different from the first time around — there are vaccines, more medical insight into the virus and better infrastructure. He said that along with saving lives, the government’s effort is to save economic activity and ensure that there is only a minimum impact on the livelihood of people.
“Aaj ki sthiti mein hamein desh ko lockdown se bachana hai. Main raajyon se bhi anurodh karunga ki vah lockdown ko antim vikalp ke roop mein hi istemaal karen. Lockdown se bachane ki bharpur koshish karni hai. Micro-containment zone par hi dhyan kendrit karna hai,” he said. (“In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from a lockdown. I would also request the states to use lockdown only as the last resort. We have to do our best to avoid a lockdown. We have to focus on only micro-containment zones only”.)
Work on war footing to provide oxygen, beds: Rajnath Singh to DPSUs, DRDO
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the armed forces and other defence ministry officials to work closely in assisting the state governments in the fight against the pandemic and gave emergency powers of procurement to meet critical needs. He urged defence public sector undertakings, DRDO and Ordnance Factory Board to work on a war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to state governments at the earliest.
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