"Urge You To Take Pledge On Independence Day For Freedom From Pandemic": PM

The number of coronavirus cases in India have doubled in nearly three weeks since July 2, when the country crossed the six lakh-mark.

"Today, COVID-19 recovery rate in our country is better than others," PM Modi said.

New Delhi:

Coronavirus is still as dangerous as it was in the beginning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, as he urged citizens to take a pledge of freedom from the pandemic on August 15, when the country celebrates Independence Day. With over 13 lakh cases, India is the third worst-hit country in the global coronavirus tally after the US and Brazil.

"This year, August 15 celebrations too will be in very different circumstances - in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I urge the youth, the people of my country to take a pledge of freedom from the pandemic this Independence Day. Take a resolve for a self-reliant India, a resolve to learn and teach something new and a resolve to earnestly carry out our duties," PM Modi said while addressing the nation through his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat.

Though the country is among the worst-hit, it has managed to have a successful recovery rate against the COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi said, highlighting India's track record in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today, COVID-19 recovery rate in our country is better than others. We were able to save the lives of lakhs of people, but threat of coronavirus is not over yet. We need to remain vigilant. We have to remember that coronavirus is still as dangerous as it was in the beginning." said PM Modi at the 66th edition of his monthly radio programme.

He also had an advice for those who feel "tired" of wearing a mask. "Sometime we have problems with masks. Some people remove masks while speaking. Whenever you feel like removing masks, just think about doctors and other Covid warriors who are fighting corona battle wearing these masks for hours," he said.

This morning, India reported 48,661 coronavirus cases, taking the total so far to 13,85,522. The number of death have risen to 32,063, with 705 deaths in the last 24 hours. The country however has been registering a recovery rate of over 63 per cent. 

A total of 8,85,577 have recovered since the first case was reported on March 2.

The number of coronavirus cases have doubled in nearly three weeks since July 2, when the country crossed the six lakh-mark.

The country's Covid tally touched the 10 lakh-mark last Friday. Since then, around three lakh new infections have been reported.This is the fourth consecutive day when COVID-19 cases increased by more than 45,000.

India has gradually ramped-up its COVID-19 testing capacity and has conducted over 4.2 lakh tests in a day, the Union Health Ministry said Saturday, crediting the increase to the number of labs for the achievement. 

The pandemic has killed more than 6,33,000 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, with more than 15.5 million people infected, according to news agency AFP.