April 26, 2021 3:13:11 am
With the surge in Covid-19 cases pushing healthcare infrastructure to its limits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his monthly radio show, Mann ki Baat, that the “storm” has “shaken” the country, and emphasised that both the Union and state governments were doing their best.
The Prime Minister began the show by saying that the pandemic “is testing our patience; it is testing the limits of all of us at enduring misery. Many of our near and dear ones have left us untimely”.
With everyone over the age of 18 becoming eligible for vaccination starting May 1, and amid questions being raised by state governments about the differential pricing of the vaccines and the distribution plan, Modi appealed to the states to provide free vaccines to “maximum number of people”.
“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,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the Centre was “applying its entire might to give a fillip to the endeavours of state governments,” which too, were “trying their best to fulfill their responsibilities”.
Urging people to get vaccinated, he appealed to them to not get “swayed by any rumours about the vaccine”. He stressed that those older than 45 years can get “free vaccines” that the Centre sent to state governments, and that starting May 1, everyone over 18 will be eligible for vaccination.
“Now, the corporate sector, companies too will be able to participate in the programme of administering vaccines to their employees. I also want to say that the programme of free vaccine by the government of India that has been going on now will continue in the future too. I appeal also to the states to extend the benefit of this free vaccine campaign of government of India to the maximum number of people.”
Saying that he had held discussions with medical experts and leaders of pharmaceutical, vaccine and oxygen production industries, the PM reiterated the government’s slogan of “Dawai bhi, kadai bhi” and asked people to “get vaccinated and maintain all precautions”, assuring that the nation will “soon prevail together over this calamity.”
Saying that while many people are getting infected, “the number of people recovering from corona is equally high”, he said.
Talking about a “new awareness” in villages and cities, Modi said, “On the one hand, the country is working day and night for hospitals, ventilators and medicines, and on the other, our countrymen are fighting the challenge of corona with a lot of heart. This resolve gives us so much strength, so much confidence… The country is once again united and fighting against corona.”
A large part of the radio show was spent talking to doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and other frontline workers, besides a patient who had recently recovered from Covid.
Many doctors, he said, were taking up responsibility on their own by providing counselling over phone and WhatsApp, and urged people that in case of any apprehension, they must get in touch with doctors and “get information only from the correct source”.
He also hailed the services of the nursing staff, calling them “a great strength of our society” and a “big inspiration for all of us”.
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