As the festive season begins in many parts of India, and as political rallies, and campaigns gather steam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broadcast another address to the nation on Tuesday evening. As thousands watched, the PM subtly warned against a second wave of Covid-19 if people were careless in following the preventive protocol of wearing masks, maintaining distance, and washing hands. He said, “In many countries we have seen that after a fall in cases, there was a resurgence. We should be careful, and not be callous till the vaccine /medicine was available.”
He added that the lockdown was over but Coronavirus was not, and said that the “Centre is preparing to make vaccine available to everyone”. His protocol reminder comes ahead of Dussehra, Durga Puja, and Diwali, which see massive crowds throng markets, and puja pandals.
PM Modi said India had done well in managing the pandemic so far and had lesser fatalities as compared to more developed nations, “We have come a long way in our fight against Covid-19,” he said India had a good recovery rate as well and the Covid-19 situation was “stable” and that should be maintained. He added that even though the festive season is here and “markets are bright again” the threat of Covid-19 was still there. He said he had seen images of how “Many people have stopped taking precautions now.” and that it was not right. “If you are careless, walking out without a mask, then you are putting yourself, your family, your family’s children, the elderly in as much trouble,” he added.
This national address on Covid-19 was the seventh by the PM since the lockdown, the last one was on June 30 when he had announced that under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), free ration to the poor will be given till the end of November.
Meanwhile, ahead of the PM’s address which has polar reactions on people, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to social media asking the PM to tell the nation the date by when he will “throw the Chinese out of Indian territory”. “Dear PM,In your 6pm address, please tell the nation the date by which you will throw the Chinese out of Indian territory. Thank you,” Gandhi said.
In your 6pm address, please tell the nation the date by which you will throw the Chinese out of Indian territory.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 20, 2020
Rahul Gandhi’s dig at the PM not addressing the nation on the China border citation came close to the Congress demands that the PM also speak on the National Plan for tackling Covid-19, money transfer to the poor, and the fragile economy.
— Congress (@INCIndia) October 20, 2020
However the wishlist, as expected, was ignored by the PM who is yet to address the nation on women’s safety, Dalit rights, especially in the wake of the Hathras rape and murder case. None of that featured in his seventh address to the nation, since he suddenly announced the national lockdown on March 24. “It was not an address to nation but a Pravachan in Modi style, as usual. He didn’t open his mouth on caste atrocity, caste based sexual assault and economic crisis. Why?”
It was not an address to nation but a Pravachan in Modi style, as usual. He didn’t open his mouth on caste atrocity, caste based sexual assualt and economic crisis. Why? @narendramodi
— Suraj Kumar Bauddh (@SurajKrBauddh) October 20, 2020
On Tuesday, India’s Covid-19 case count was reported to be 75,97,063, with 46,790 new infections in the past 24 hours, reported The Scroll. On Tuesday morning the Prime Minister had said that India “has one of the highest recovery rates–88 per cent–because it was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown,” NDTV reported. He had said, “India’s size, scale and diversity have always made the global community curious. Our population is almost four times that of the USA. Many of our states are as populated as other nations in Europe and Asia. Thanks to people power and people-driven approach, India kept its COVID-19 death rate very low.”
According to the PM, “Today we are seeing a decline in the number of cases per day and in the growth rate of cases. India has one of the highest recovery rates–88 per cent. This happened because India was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown when the total cases were just a few hundred.”