Updated: May 22, 2021 8:10:37 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Covid-19 treatment would have to be taken to people’s doorsteps to reduce the burden on the country’s healthcare system, and coined the mantra of “Jahan Bimar Wahin Upchar [Treatment where the patient is]” to contain the spread of the disease in rural areas.
Modi got emotional, almost fighting back tears, during his address to doctors, paramedics and other frontline workers from his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. He said doorstep treatment would have to be carried out by distributing medicine kits and through telemedicine services.
The prime minister told the audience that attention needs to be provided to rural areas in the Purvanchal region, including Varanasi. “We have to give attention to rural areas of Varanasi and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Now is not the time to be content. We have to fight a long battle,” he said, adding, “For every system, there is a new mantra ie doorstep treatment for the sick…As much treatment we provide at people’s doorstep that much pressure on the health system will be reduced.”
Modi warned health workers about the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. “We have to remember that our fight is against an enemy that is invisible, changes shapes and is cunning,” he said.
While paying tribute to people who succumbed to Covid-19 in the second wave, Modi got emotional. He said the infection rate was several times higher than in the past, and patients were hospitalised for a longer time during the second wave. These two factors led to more pressure on the health system, he added.
The prime minister lauded the efforts of doctors, nurses, technicians, ward boys and ambulance drivers. Getting emotional, he said, “But this pandemic is so big that despite all the efforts we have not been able to save the lives of our family members. This virus has snatched so many of our near ones.”
After a long pause, he added, “I pay my respects to all these people and offer condolences to their near and dear ones.”
In his address, Modi pointed out that Varanasi is which is the main healthcare centre for the entire Purvanchal region and even parts of neighbouring Bihar. As a result, it had to bear the burden during the second wave, Modi added. The prime minister praised the state government’s efforts to bolster the health infrastructure in Varanasi through the “Kashi Kavach” experiment.
Due to the initiative, doctors, labs and e-marketing companies were brought together on a single platform and e-telemedicine was introduced as part of the initiative, Modi said, adding that the results of the experiment should be shared with others.
The prime minister called for efforts to save children from Covid-19, and flagged the “new challenge” posed by mucormycosis, or black fungus. He assured that the “suraksha kavach [protective shield]” of vaccines would reach every person soon.
While emphasising the need to save children from the disease, the prime minister recollected how Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had broken down in Parliament when he was the Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, requesting the then Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to save children from encephalitis.
“I remember when Yogi ji was a Member of Parliament and cried in Parliament..pleading the governments at the time to make arrangements to save the lives of children…Thousands of children used to die and this went on for years,” Modi said.
He claimed that a campaign against encephalitis that Yogi Adityanath had started after becoming the chief minister saved the lives of many children. Similar work should be done now, he added.
(With PTI inputs)
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