COVID-19 pandemic far from over, no room for carelessness or complacency: PM Modi

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) Expressing concern over the sight of crowded places with people not following COVID-19 norms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that there should be no space for carelessness or complacency and that a single mistake would have far-reaching impact and may weaken the fight against the pandemic.

This is not a pleasant sight and it should instil a 'sense of fear in us', Modi said referring to pictures and videos of crowded places doing the rounds as he interacted with members of the Council of Ministers a day after he reshuffled and expanded it. People are seen without wearing masks or following the social distancing norms, he said, according to sources.

He stressed India's fight against the pandemic is underway with full vigour with the vaccination programme going on steadily and testing numbers also consistently high.

'He added that in such a time, there should be no space for carelessness or complacency. A single mistake would have far-reaching impacts and weaken the fight to overcome COVID-19,' a source said.

'The PM said that with the Covid infection numbers being fewer than what they were in the recent months, people may want to venture out. However, everyone must remember that the threat of COVID-19 is far from over. Many other nations are seeing surges in infections. The virus is also mutating,' he added.

Modi told the ministers that the aim should not be to instill fear but to request people to keep taking all possible precautions so that the nation is able to move beyond this pandemic in the times to come. In the meeting, he expressed concern at the persistently high number of Covid cases coming from Maharashtra and Kerala, the sources said.

He also asked his ministers to reach office on time and channelise all their energy into their ministerial work, saying their focus should be on helping the most deprived people.

He said the new ministers can meet their predecessors and learn from their experience, the sources said.

He told the new ministers that those no longer part of the government have made contributions and newcomers can learn from them, the sources said.

In a word of advice, he said it is the work that only matters and the ministers should not get trapped in the vicious circle of grabbing media attention.

He said ministers should avoid making unnecessary statements. PTI JTR/KR/NAB TIR TIR

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