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At a Covid-19 isolation centre at CWG in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the situation today was different from the first time around — there are vaccines, more medical insight into the virus and better infrastructure. He said that along with saving lives, the government’s effort is to save economic activity and ensure that there is only a minimum impact on the livelihood of people.

“Aaj ki sthiti mein hamein desh ko lockdown se bachana hai. Main raajyon se bhi anurodh karunga ki vah lockdown ko antim vikalp ke roop mein hi istemaal karen. Lockdown se bachane ki bharpur koshish karni hai. Micro-containment zone par hi dhyan kendrit karna hai,” he said. (“In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from a lockdown. I would also request the states to use lockdown only as the last resort. We have to do our best to avoid a lockdown. We have to focus on only micro-containment zones only”.)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the armed forces and other defence ministry officials to work closely in assisting the state governments in the fight against the pandemic and gave emergency powers of procurement to meet critical needs. He urged defence public sector undertakings, DRDO and Ordnance Factory Board to work on a war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to state governments at the earliest.

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