A health worker wearing a protective face mask checks the temperature of a woman while conducting door to door survey to identify symptomatic people amid a spike in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, in New Delhi, India on November 24, 2020.[Photo/Agencies]

NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ruled out a lockdown amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Addressing the nation on TV for the first time amid the second wave of COVID-19, Modi also appealed to state governments to consider lockdown as a “last resort.”

The prime minister said that serious efforts were being made to ensure enough production and supply of oxygen across the country, especially those cities where it is required urgently.

He said that unlike last year when COVID-19 had initially struck, the country is better placed now. “We have enough medical facilities to curb the pandemic spread,” he said.

Modi appealed to the people not to panic, strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols and not move out of homes until urgently required.

“We will overcome the second wave of the pandemic like we did last time.”

India’s COVID-19 death toll reached 180,530 on Tuesday. Besides, as many as 259,170 new cases were recorded between Monday and Tuesday, taking the total tally to 15,321,089.

There are still a total of 2,031,977 active cases in the country, with an increase of 102,648 active cases through Monday, even as 13,108,582 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals so far across the country.