In his seventh address to the nation amid the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged Indians to remain alert against the threat of coronavirus during the ongoing festive season.
"We must keep in mind that lockdown may have ended but virus is still there," he said in a pre-recorded video messaged that was beamed across media at 6 pm.
Modi said that any negligence on the part of the citizens during the festival season can bring grief to families.
India is currently celebrating Navaratri and Durga Puja festivals, while it will also mark Diwali in the coming weeks.
While suggesting that the COVID-19 fatality rate in India is 83 for one million population, while figure is more than 600 in countries like USA, Brazil, Spain, he added that people must not be careless or believe that COVID-19 has ended.
The prime minister also took cognisance of the repeated violations of safety protocols, referring to various recent videos that show many people failing to take precautions against the virus.
If you are careless and moving around without mask, you are putting yourself, children, elderly at risk, he said.
The prime minister also asked media personnel and social media users to campaign to spread public awareness on COVID-19 guidelines.
On the question of the much anticipated COVID-19 vaccine, Modi said that the government is making all efforts to ensure that vaccine, whenever it is launched, reaches every Indian.