New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation today on the coronavirus pandemic and announced the extension of 21-day complete lockdown to May 3. This was the PM’s third televised address to the nation in less than a month. Here are the highlights of his speech: Also Read - COVID-19: PAN-India Lockdown Extended Till May 3, Decision on Relaxing Restrictions After April 20

Tributes to BR Ambedkar

Before starting his address, PM Modi remembered BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary.

”The whole nation is together despite facing so many problems. This is the power of ‘We, the people of India’ as mentioned in the Constitution. This is our dedication to Dr BR Ambedkar on his anniversary”, the PM said.

Stringent measures to be taken 

PM Modi said that more stringent steps will be taken for the next one week to check spread of COVID-19.

”Till 20th April, all districts, localities, states will be closely monitored, as to how strictly they are implementing norms. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions,” says PM Modi.

”We will not let this pandemic spread. We cannot allow cases to increase. Hotspots have been identified and containment zones are also under scanner. We cannot let more hotspots originate,” he added.

Shoutout to Doctors and medical staff

Hailing the efforts put by the doctors, medical staff, essential serive providers and the people of the country, PM Modi said, “You have saved the country. I understand the probelms you have faced.”

Relief for Farmers and Daily wagers

PM Modi announced lockdown relaxations for daily wagers who have suffered a severe blow due to the lockdown and announced relief for farmers ahead of the rabi crop harvest season.

Hailing India’s spirit

In the midst of the lockdown, India has also seen New Years across various corners, the PM said, hailing the people for the simplistic way in which they have celebrated amid the lockdown.

“Baisakhi, Pohela Baishakh, Puthandu, Bohag Bihu, along with Vishu usher in new year in different states. The way people are celebrating festivals by staying at home during this lockdown is commendable. I wish you the best of health this New Year,” PM said.

He credited the people for their ‘discipline and sacrifice’, adding that because of this the country has been able to withstand the full force of the pandemic.

India’s response to COvid-19

PM Modi says India acted very early to contain the coronavirus problem and that the nation didn’t wait for the problem to get out of hands. He also mentioned that India was one of the first countries to start screening at airports.

“With fast action and early lockdown, India has done much better than the bigger nations. The figures from these developed nations show that we are doing much better. Though it is not the correct time to draw a comparison between India and other nations, but it is noteworthy that our situation could have been beyond imagination if he had not taken the correct steps in time,” he remarked.

A request to the Youth

PM Modi requested the youth of India should take care of the old in India to ensure that they don’t contract COVID-19.

”I need your support to make this lockdown a success. Please take care of elders of your family. They are the most vulnerable and it’s our duty to protect them. Use a face cover made at home at all times. Ensure you don’t cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of lockdown and social distancing,” the PM said, further requstiong people to download the Aroghya Sethu mobile app.

India’s total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 10,363 including 8,988 active cases, 1,035 cured/discharged and 339 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said today.