Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the second wave of the coronavirus had hit India like a storm but urged states to use lockdowns as the last resort. He also stressed on voluntary Covid discipline, urging people to go out only if necessary. “States should use the lockdown as the last resort – our focus should be micro-containment zones. We will take care of economic health as well as the health of countrymen,” PM Modi said, addressing the nation. The Prime Minister made it clear that a nationwide lockdown was off the table for now. For some weeks the situation was in control. We were just recovering from the first wave. But then the second wave has come like a storm,” said the PM. “I feel the pain of all those who have lost a loved one. The challenge is big but we must cross this with determination and resolve.” PM Modi’s addressing came after a series of meetings he had with various stakeholders since yesterday amid a spurt of Covid cases across the country. Today, he interacted with vaccine manufactures. CommentsIndia registered 1,761 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours, the biggest one-day spike, and over 2.59 lakh new cases. The total number of cases, which shows a worrying rise in the second wave of the pandemic, now stands at more than 1.53 crore. This is the third straight day that the country has reported over two lakh cases. India is second only to the United States in the total number of cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.