The second wave of Covid-19 infections has shaken the country and is testing the limits of people, but the government is utilising its entire might to give a fillip to efforts of state governments to overcome the crisis and beat back the disease, PM Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, the PM acknowledged the virulence and spread of the current wave. “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,” he said.
Seeking to reassure people of the efforts to contain the spread of infections, the PM said he has had lengthy deliberations with experts from the pharma industry, vaccine manufacturers, those connected with oxygen production and experts from the medical field who had all offered valuable suggestions.
This time, for emerging victorious in this battle, we have to accord priority to expert and scientific advice. The government of India is applying its entire might to give a fillip to the endeavours of state governments. The states too are trying their best to fulfil their responsibilities,” the PM said.
In a departure from his usual practice, Sunday’s Mann ki Baat was only on Covid-19 with experts and healthcare workers speaking of their experience and the need to contain panic.
Modi spoke to doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers to instil confidence in people and said the biggest priority was to defeat the disease.
Modi emphasised that people should get information only from correct sources. “You can consult your family doctor or doctors in the neighbourhood on the phone. I am noticing that many of our doctors are taking upon themselves this responsibility, on their own. Many doctors are providing information to people through social media.... Many hospitals have websites where information is available,” he said. The PM urged people to opt for vaccination and not be swayed by rumours. “Now, from May 1 onwards, the vaccine is going to be made available for every person above 18 in the country. Now, the corporate sector and companies too will be able to participate in the programme of administering vaccines to their employees,” he said, adding that the programme of free vaccination by the Centre would continue.
Modi lauded the voluntary services being provided by people from different walks of life who are delivering medicines, vegetables and other essentials to families living in quarantine and those offering free ambulance.