Modi warns all to remain vigilance against coronavirus amid festive season

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NEW DELHI, Oct 20, 2020 (BSS) – With the beginning of festival season in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today warned all to remain vigilance against coronavirus although the country crosses significant milestones in its fight against Covid-19.

The new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours in India have fallen below 50,000 for the first time in nearly three months, according to a data provided by union health ministry here today.

Besides, the percentage of active cases have fallen below 10% when the total positive cases of the country today are less than 7.5 lakh and comprise merely 9.85% of the total cases.

Prime Minister Modi in his televised address to the nation ahead of series of festivals over the next few months, said you (citizens) should not think that coronavirus is gone with the withdrawal of lockdown.

“It is still alive, so we should not be careless…We should not be complacent about the pandemic till the time we get a vaccine shot,” he said adding that India is working on two or three possible vaccines to fight the pandemic.

In this connection, Modi said that everybody in India will get the vaccine in a planned, phased and fast manner when the vaccines would be available in the country.

“Till the time we do not get the vaccine, if behave even a little irresponsibly, we can harm ourselves and all those around us,” he said urging people to wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, washing hands regularly and if, required using sanitizers.

The Prime Minister also asked countrymen do not go out unless it is necessary.

Regarding availability of vaccines, Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan earlier said two firms – the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech — are expected to begin late stage clinical trials of their vaccines after they receive approval.

Besides, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, a multinational pharmaceutical company located in India and the Russian Direct Investment Fund have received approval for phase-2 and 3 clinical trials of the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” in India.

A Central medical panel has, however, warned that a spike can be expected with the festival season and the onset of winter if there is any laxity in the observance of safety measures.

It can be as much as “up to 26 lakh cases within a month,” the committee said, adding that only 30 per cent of the population has developed immunity so far, media report said quoting the committee members.

The committee said its apprehensions are borne out by the situation in Kerala where after the recent Onam festival a sharp rise in daily Covid figures were observed. The spike started on September 8 – days after the Onam.