Virus threat not over, need to stay extra vigilant: Modi
India has been united in fighting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic and has performed better than many other countries, but people need to remain “extra vigilant” as the threat posed by the outbreak persists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
Addressing his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Modi said India’s recovery rate – the percentage of Covid-19 patients who have recovered from the viral illness – is higher than that of other countries and its fatalities lower, but the “hazards” of the outbreak “are far from over”.
“Today, the recovery rate in our country is better compared to other countries; the mortality rate in the context of corona in our country is much less as well, compared to most countries,” Modi said, adding: “Of course, the loss of even one life is saddening, but India has also succeeded in saving the lives of millions of her people.”
The Prime Minister also sounded caution, and said it was important to practise social distancing and wear masks to fight the virus. “At many places, it is spreading fast... We have to bear in mind that Corona is as fatal today as it was in the beginning – that’s why we have to be fully cautious,” he said. Till Sunday, India recorded a recovery rate of 63.9% -- higher than the hardest-hit nation, US (47.6%) – and a fatality rate of 2.3%, lower than the global rate of 4%.
These figures have been recorded even as infections have risen rapidly in the country, with more than 1.4 million overall cases and a total of 32, 811 deaths till the end of the day. The contagion, which had until recent weeks largely affected urban metropolises like Mumbai and Delhi – has begun spreading across states with most lockdown restrictions lifted.
Maharashtra is the hardest-hit state in the number of infections, followed by Tamil Nadu and Delhi. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Telangana, West Bengal and Odisha are among the states that are now adding hundreds of new cases daily.
The PM also said that while the country continues to fight the coronavirus epidemic, there is also the need to scale up employment and help businesses. “On the one hand, we have to fight the battle against Corona with full awareness & vigilance; on the other, whatever our responsibilities, through sheer perseverance… business, jobs or studies… we have to lend pace to it, taking it to greater heights,” he said.
India was among the countries to impose a strict lockdown, first enforced on March 25, to curb the spread of the disease. While most of the restrictions have now been eased, economic activities are stuttering to restart months after as the country continues to record thousands of new infections daily.