"I apologize for taking these harsh steps that have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people," Modi said in his monthly address aired on state radio.
"I know some of you will be angry with me. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle."
The lockdown, which is the world’s largest, has left millions of poor people hungry, and forced migrant workers to walk hundreds of kilometers back to their native villages.
Despite supporting broad measures to avoid the spread of the virus in the country of 1.3 billion, opposition leaders, analysts, and some citizens have criticized the implementation of the lockdown and the government’s lack of planning ahead of the decision.
The massive movement of migrants particularly threatens to spread the disease into the whole country.
After the lockdown was announced, migrants rushed out to return to their villages. Police said four were killed Saturday when a truck ran into them in the western state of Maharashtra, while another migrant collapsed and died in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.