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PM Modi’s speech shores up the morale but there is much work requiring close coordination by governments at all levels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation was a much needed effort to raise the morale of people amid a deadly Covid second wave that has robbed too many lives. PM Modi recalled the difficult situation at the start of the pandemic when the country’s production capacity was quickly ramped up to ensure self sufficiency in protective equipment, testing kits and medical drugs.

In that context he has requested states to not resort to lockdowns unless the situation absolutely required it. Livelihoods are also in grave peril due to lockdowns, and the exodus of migrant workers, who are an integral part of urban economies, is a clear revolt against their hasty imposition.There are also growing worries that the pandemic is now surging in smaller towns and villages. The political leadership must address this scenario urgently.

Also read | PM Narendra Modi address: ‘Second wave has hit country like a storm’

The vitality of India’s local self governments will be tested here and central and state governments must help local bodies in their efforts to swiftly arm themselves for Covid containment efforts. There have been occasions where central and state governments have indulged in blame games. Now is the time to put all political differences on the backburner and fight a common enemy.



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