Updated: April 25, 2021 1:24:23 pm
As the country continues to bear the brunt of the second wave of Covid-19, with healthcare infrastructure stretched to its limits in many parts of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated his entire monthly radio show, Mann ki Baat, to the pandemic. He emphasised that both the Union and the state governments were working together in the crisis.
He said that “the entire conversation… focused on the corona pandemic, because, today, our biggest priority is to defeat this disease”. The Prime Minister stressed on the need to ensure that people follow all Covid-19 protocols and get vaccinated, and reiterated the government’s slogan of “Dawai bhi, Kadai bhi”, to “get vaccinated and maintain all precautions”.
“Never forget this mantra. We will soon prevail together over this calamity,” Modi said, and urged everyone to “get vaccinated and we also have to take full care”.
He said that it is a “time when Corona is testing our patience; it is testing the limits of all of us at enduring misery”. As several people continue to die across the nation, Modi said that “many of our near and dear ones have left us untimely”.
“After successfully confronting the first wave of Corona, the country was full of enthusiasm, full of self-confidence, but this storm has shaken the country.”
Modi said that in the past few days he has held “long deliberations with experts from myriad sectors”, including the pharmaceutical industry, vaccine manufacturers, those connected with oxygen production, and experts from the medical field. “This time, for emerging victorious in this battle, we have to accord priority to expert and scientific advice.”
He said that the Indian government was “applying its entire might to give a fillip to the endeavours of state governments,” which too, he added, “are trying their best to fulfill their responsibilities”.
Modi said that while “many people are getting infected with Corona”, “the number of people recovering is equally high”. He commented that “positive spirit is imperative to fight Corona and the countrymen have to maintain the very same positive spirit.”
There is a “new awareness” being seen in the villages in this wave, and by “strictly following the Covid rules, people are protecting their village from the corona, proper arrangements are also being made for those who are coming from outside”” he mentioned.
“Many young people have also come forward in the cities, working together with the local residents, in order to prevent the rise of Corona cases in their area. Meaning, on the one hand, the country is working day and night for hospitals, ventilators and medicines and on the other hand, the countrymen are also fighting the challenge of Corona with a lot of heart. This resolve gives us so much strength, so much confidence. Whatever efforts are being made are of great service to the society. They strengthen the power of society.”
“The country is once again united and fighting against Corona. These days, I see that someone is delivering medicines to families living in quarantine, someone is sending vegetables, milk, fruits etc. Someone is offering free ambulance services to patients. Even in such challenging times, in different corners of the country, voluntary organisations are coming forward and trying to do whatever they can to help others.”
Appreciating the role played by the frontline and medical workers, he said that they are “endeavouring 24×7” and also appreciated that “other people of the society also are not lagging behind at this time”.
In a slight change of the format, a large part of Modi’s radio show was spent on speaking to doctors, healthcare workers including nurses and ambulance drivers, and a patient who had recently recovered from Covid. The country’s “doctors and health workers are waging a colossal battle against Corona,” Modi said. He encouraged people to get in touch with doctors and “get the information only from the correct source”, also regarding any apprehensions.
Many doctors, he said, “are taking upon themselves this responsibility” and are providing necessary information through social media, counselling over the phone and WhatsApp, and many hospitals have also shared information on their websites, which he said is “commendable”.
The sense of service of the country’s nursing staff, the Prime Minister said, “is a great strength of our society”. He stated that “countless” people of the nursing staff “are performing their duties exemplarily” and called it a “big inspiration for all of us”.
Speaking to an ambulance driver, he mentioned that “at the moment frontline workers like lab-technicians and ambulance drivers are also working in a godlike manner,” and added that “thousands of people like him today are serving the people by putting their own lives at stake” and have “contributed a lot to all the lives that have been saved in this fight against Corona”.
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