Updated: June 7, 2021 6:16:23 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation at 5 PM on Monday, regarding the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country. With more and more states asking the Centre to step in, the Prime Minister announced that the Centre will be responsible for the procurement of Covid vaccines starting from June 21. The Covid vaccine will be available free of cost for all those above 18 years of age, while, those who want to pay, can also get it at private centres.
He also announced that the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Anna scheme would continue till Diwali to provide food to the poor. While commending the efforts of the administration in managing the pandemic, the Prime Minister emphasised that following Covid protocols is the way to defeat this “invisible and mutating” enemy.
Here are the major highlights from Modi’s speech:
“During the second wave, the demand for medical oxygen in the country increased unimaginably in the months of April and May. Never in the history of India has the need for medical oxygen been felt in such quantity.”
“In 2014 when we were elected, vaccine coverage in India was only around 60 per cent, which was deeply concerning. The speed at which vaccination programme was taking place, the country would have taken 40 years for 100 per cent vaccination…We launched ‘Indra Dhanush’…and worked in mission mode. In just 5-6 years, vaccination coverage had increased to more than 90 per cent. We increased speed and coverage of vaccination.”
“Just within an year India launched not one, but two indigenous vaccines. More than 23 crore vaccine doses have been given in the country so far.”
“Today 7 companies in the country are producing different types of vaccines. Trial of three more vaccines is also going in the advanced stage.” Research on nasal vaccine is also ongoing.
“Starting from January 16 this year till the end of April, India’s vaccination program ran mainly under the supervision of the central government…the citizens of the country, following the discipline, were getting the vaccine when it was their turn…In between, many state governments again said that the vaccine work should be de-centralized and left to the states.”
Announcing the centralising of the vaccine procurement, the PM announced, “Today, a decision has been taken that Centre will now also bear the responsibility of 25 per cent of the work related to vaccination with the states.”
“From Monday, June 21, in every state of the country, for all citizens above the age of 18 years, the Government of India will provide free vaccine to the states. Government of India itself will buy 75 percent of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments.”
“No state government of the country will have to spend anything on the vaccine. Till now crores of people of the country have received free vaccine. Now people of 18 years of age will also join it. Only the Government of India will provide free vaccine to all.”
“Today the government has decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will now be extended till Diwali. In this time of pandemic, the government is standing by the poor with every need, as their partner. That is, by November, free food grains will be available in fixed quantity every month to more than 80 crore countrymen.”
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