New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday the nation over the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country. He asked the states to avoid imposing lockdown and use it as the last option. 

PM Modi has been conducting several meetings in the last three days amid the spurt in cases across the country. Today, he held a meeting with vaccine manufacturers. 

With the country reporting over 2.5 lakh cases daily for the past four consective days, several worst-hit states like Delhi and Maharashta have imposed lockdown-like restrictions. While there is a complete 6-day lockdown in Delhi, the Maharashtra government is expected to decide to imposing a complete lockdown in the state by Wednesday evening. 

Here are the highlights of the big story:

9:05 pm: Step out of the house only when necessary and follow all COVID protocols, PM Modi requests the nation.

9:04 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there is a need to save the country from lockown. He also requested states to go for lockdown as the last option.

8:59 pm: PM Modi asks youth to form small committees and teach people about COVID-19 precautionary gudelines. He says doing so, there will be no need to impose containment zones, or curfews, leave lockdown. 

8:57 pm: India with two 'made in India' vaccines started the world's largest vaccination program. Till now, more than 12 crore vaccine doses have been administered. From 1st May, those above the age of 18 years can be vaccinated: PM Modi

8:55 pm: Work is on to increase the number of beds in hospitals. In some cities, large COVID19 dedicated hospitals are being built: PM Modi during an address to the nation on the COVID19 situation

8:54 pm: The demand for oxygen has increased in many parts of the country. The Centre, state govt, private sector are trying to make oxygen available to all those who are in need of it. Many steps are being taken in this direction: PM Modi

8:53 pm: All efforts are being made by pharmaceutical companies to ramp up the production of medicines, says PM Modi.

8:51 pm: Oxygen demand has risen in the past few days. We are working with full committment to address the issue, says PM Modi. He said that efforts are made to increase oxygen supply. 

8:49 pm: We are facing the second wave of COVID19 now. I understand the pain you are going through and express my sympathies to the families who have lost their loved ones due to COVID: PM Modi

8:47 pm: PM Modi expresses grief on the deaths due to the coronavirus, says "I am with you in these tough times".

8:47 pm: Nation fighting a big war against second wave of coronavirus.

8:45 pm: PM Modi's address to the nation begins 

8:42 pm: "India is gasping for #Oxygen. Thanks to GOI’s incompetency & complacency," tweets Rahul Gandhi.

8:40 pm: Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Tuesday reported a record 62,097 COVID-19 cases and 519 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

8:35 pm: The Centre has left it on the states to impose restrictions like lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Hence, it is expected that PM Modi may address on the vaccination drive or announce a relief package.

8:30 pm: A media report has quoted PMO sources saying that there will be no announcement of a nationwide lockdown. 

8:26 pm: The vaccine manufacturers thanked PM Modi for the government's decision of allowing vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 and various steps taken to give more incentives and flexibility, the statement said.

8:24 pm: PM assured all possible support, smooth approval process for COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently undergoing trials, according to an fficial statement.

8:22 pm: Earlier today, PM Modi held a meeting with vaccine manufacturers and urged them to scale up production capacity to vaccinate all citizens in shortest possible time.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta