New Delhi: In his seventh address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday emphasized on the need to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are being followed by every citizen till a vaccine arrives, especially with the onset of the festive season. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Slams Modi Government Over Coronavirus Vaccine, Asks 'What Does PM Stand By'

This is not the time to be complacent and “let our guards down”, PM Modi said in his address. “The government is ensuring that whenever a vaccine comes, it reaches every citizen,” he said, adding that people need to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 norms and ensure safety protocols. Also Read - Parkash Singh Badal, Former Punjab Chief Minister, Returns Padma Vibhushan Award over Farmers' Protest

“All countries are working on a war-footing for making Covid-19 vaccine. The government is preparing for making the vaccine accessible to every Indian as soon as it is made available,” he said. Also Read - Navy Determined To Stand Steadfast In These Testing Times, Says Navy Chief

Referring to a number of photos and videos of people flouting COVID safety protocols, the prime minister said, “Recently, we saw many photos & videos where it is clearly seen that people are not careful anymore. This isn’t right. If you step out without a mask, you put your families at risk. We must remember – whether it is America or Europe, cases declined and then there was a sudden spike,” the PM said.

PM Modi’s speech came right after the Union Health Ministry’s data showing coronavirus figures in India slowly sliding down. Notably, India recorded less than 50,000 COVID cases this morning for the first time in three months.

“Today, the recovery rate in the country is good. The fatality rate is low. 5,500 people out of every 10 Lakh population in India are infected, whereas in countries like the US & Brazil this figure is around 25,000. The fatality rate in India is 83 out of every 10 Lakh population in India, whereas it is more than 600 in countries like the US, Brazil, Spain, Britain,” PM Modi noted.

“India has a facility of more than 90 lakh beds for coronavirus patients. There are 12,000 quarantine centres, around 2000 Corona testing labs. The number of tests will cross 10 crores soon. In our fight against Covid-19, rise in the number of tests has been our strength,” he added.

However, a central panel has also warned that a second wave or spike is expected in the upcoming months and that nearly 50 per cent of the country’s population may be affected by the viral infection by February next year.