India PM Modi urges state governments to use lockdown as last resort to contain virus - GulfToday

India PM Modi urges state governments to use lockdown as last resort to contain virus

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Narendra Modi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged state governments on Tuesday to use lockdowns as the last resort to contain the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 infections, even as cases and deaths surge to record highs.

Modi also asked citizens to stay indoors, not spread panic about the virus and form local groups to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols. He said the central government is working with states and private companies to ramp up the supply of oxygen, as well as production and distribution of vaccines.

Rahul Gandhi, an opposition Congress party leader and scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi family, says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing mild symptoms.

Gandhi, 50, said in a tweet on Tuesday, "All those who’ve been in contact with me recently, please follow all safety protocols and stay safe.” Gandhi last week called off political rallies in West Bengal state where provincial elections are being held.

On Monday, another top Congress party leader and former prime minister, Manmohan Singh, also tested positive and was hospitalized as a precaution. Singh, 88, had a mild fever on Sunday.

A senior Congress party leader, P. Chidambaram, said on Tuesday that Singh ”is stable and the progress is good.”

India’s Health Ministry reported 259,170 new infections and 1,761 deaths on Tuesday. The country has reported daily infections above the 200,000 mark for six days.

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