India’s prime minister says virus’s spread still critical

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address Tuesday that the country’s coronavirus death rate is under control, but that the country is at a “critical juncture.”

Modi’s sixth address since the pandemic began came as India reported nearly 560,000 infections and over 16,000 deaths.

“People are becoming careless,” he said, adding, “we need to call out the violators.”

In India, the world’s fourth-worst affected country, cases have shot up since the end of a 10-week lockdown in early June. While some restrictions remain, many industries and businesses have reopened, and Indians have cautiously returned to the streets.

Modi also said free food rations for 800 million of the country’s 1.3 billion people would continue until November.