Be more careful during ‘Unlock’: PM

Be more careful during ‘Unlock’: PM
Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI, JUN 30 | Publish Date: 6/30/2020 1:11:21 PM IST

 Free food grain scheme extended by 5 months 

India prepares for large-scale vaccination

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lamented the increase in negligence in personal and social behaviour since ‘Unlock-1’ from June 1 when coronavirus lockdown curbs were eased.

In his address to the nation, the prime minister also observed that rules were followed very strictly during the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25, adding there is a need to be alert and more careful during the ‘Unlock’ phase.

“But we have also seen that since ‘Unlock-1’, there is increasing negligence in personal and social behaviour. Earlier, we were very careful with respect to wearing of masks, social distancing and washing of hands for 20 seconds. But today, when we need to be more careful, increasing negligence is a cause of worry,” he said.

During the unlock phase, governments, local bodies and people need to show similar alertness. “We especially need to focus more on containment zones,” he stressed. The country has been witnessing a rapid surge in coronavirus cases since June one.

“Those not following the rules will need to be stopped and cautioned.”

“As the country enters Unlock-2, we are also entering the season of increasing cases of cough, cold and fever. I, therefore, request all of you to take special care of yourselves,” he said.

The country will be entering “Unlock-2” from July 1 for which guidelines were issued by the Union Home Ministry on Monday night for further easing of the restrictions imposed due to the lockdown.

PM extends PMGKAY: Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday announced extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a programme to provide free ration for over 80 crore people, mostly poor, by five more months till November end.

He said that over Rs 90,000 crore will be spent on the programme’s extension, and if the last three months expenditure on account of the free ration scheme is added then the total budget will be about Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

The scheme was rolled out for three months from April soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced to combat the COVID-19.

Modi noted that July marks the beginning of the festive season when people’s needs as well as expenditure increase. “Keeping all these things in mind, it has been decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana up to Diwali and Chhath Puja till the November end,” Modi said.

The prime minister said in his 16-minute address that the central government is also working on the “one nation, one ration card” initiative which, he added, will benefit people living outside their home for employment and other needs the most. This is Modi’s sixth address to the nation after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccination: A day after India’s first Covid-19 vaccine candidate received the central drugs controller’s approval for human clinical trials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed India’s preparations for vaccinating its vast population against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) once a vaccine becomes available.

Vaccination must be affordable and universal, Modi said. At a high-level meeting, he directed officials to start work on a detailed plan for carrying out such large exercise in the country of 1.3 billion people and review preparations in place for vaccination against the viral disease that has infected at least 10 million and killed 508,876 across the globe. In India, the disease has infected 566,840 people and caused 16,893 deaths.

On Monday, Bharat Biotech said it had received the drug controller’s approval for carrying out human trials on a vaccine it developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The trials are expected to begin in July, the company said.


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