“The way Indians came together to fight against coronavirus in the last few months, we have proved the world wrong,” Modi said Sunday, while delivering his monthly radio address to the nation.
India has the third-highest number of virus cases worldwide, with more than 1.3 million recorded instances of Covid-19 and 32,060 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Modi claimed the coronavirus recovery rate was better in India than in other countries but warned that the threat of the disease remained.
“We need to remain vigilant. We have to remember that coronavirus is still as dangerous as it was in the beginning,” he added.
India on Sunday recorded 48,661 new cases. The situation is particularly severe in Delhi, the country’s worst-hit city.
Research conducted by India’s National Center for Disease Control suggests that nearly one in four residents in Delhi have contracted the virus.
On June 12, India’s Supreme Court published a scathing report on the Delhi state government’s handling of Covid-19 and its treatment of the dead. The Indian government has since ramped up testing in the area and added hospital beds, including thousands in converted train coaches.
India’s government placed the country under lockdown on March 25, when it only had 519 cases and 10 deaths.
But the restrictions placed many of the country’s citizens in an impossible position. Thousands of daily wage earners were left without jobs or food — and many made lengthy and sometimes fatal trips back home to distant states.
When restrictions were partially eased on May 30, India had more than 180,000 cases — and rising.
Among those who have contracted the disease is the chief minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who said on Saturday that he had tested positive for the virus.
“My dear countrymen, I was having Covid-19 symptoms and, after a test, my report came back positive. I am following all the guidelines and will quarantine myself based on doctor’s advice,” Chouhan said in a series of tweets.
He also appealed to colleagues and individuals to take precautions to avoid infection and urged those who had come into contact with him to get tested.
CNN’s Vedika Sud, Esha Mitra and Nectar Gan contributed to this report.
Rishabh M. Pratap reported from New Delhi. Zamira Rahim wrote in London.