India has let its guard down and became overconfident after successfully tackling the first wave of coronavirus only to get heavily hit by the second one, Modi has admitted, in a radio address on Sunday.
The prime minister urged citizens to exercise caution and not to panic, advising them to get information on the Covid-19 crisis only from “authentic sources.” He also assured the public that the federal government-sponsored vaccination campaign continues, urging local authorities to speed up the process.
“I urge people not to fall prey to any rumor about vaccines. You must be aware the government of India has sent free vaccines to the State governments,” Modi stated.
“The free vaccination program of the government of India will continue. I urge the State governments to utilize this scheme and ensure that maximum people have been vaccinated.”
During the past 24-hour-period, the country set a new grim record, detecting some 349,691 coronavirus cases. The figure became the fourth global record reached by India in four consecutive days.
The ongoing surge in coronavirus infections has heavily strained India’s healthcare system. The situation has been particularly bad in the country’s capital, Delhi, with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen, needed to treat critical patients.
The surging cases prompted New Delhi’s authorities to extend the lockdown in the capital for another week. Previously, the lockdown had been set to end on Monday.
“A lockdown was the last weapon we had to deal with the coronavirus but with cases rising so quickly we had to use this weapon,” Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal explained, announcing the move.
India’s all-time coronavirus tally is rapidly approaching the 17 million mark. More than 190,000 people across the country have succumbed to the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.
In absolute figures, the country remains the second worst Covid-affected nation in the world after the US, which has registered more than 32 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. In per-capita terms, however, the situation in India is still not that bad, as the disease has affected only a fraction of its massive population of over 1.3 billion.
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