Noting that the second wave of COVID-19 is testing people’s patience and their limit to bear the pain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that this “toofan” (storm) has shaken the country after it was full of spirit and self-confidence after successfully tackling the first wave.
In his monthly Mann Ki Baat broadcast, Modi spoke to doctors, nurses and frontline workers, who shared their experience and views on the disease, and expressed confidence that people will soon come out of this crisis.
The over 30-minute broadcast was entirely focused on the pandemic, which has been rampaging across the country for weeks, with Modi asserting that defeating the disease is the biggest priority.
He urged countrymen to go for vaccination against the disease and cautioned them against rumours about it.
The Centre, he said, will continue to provide jabs free of cost to the eligible people (those over 45 years of age) and has been helping states in their efforts to deal with the disease with its full might.
“We have to give priority to the expert and scientific advice at this time to win this battle,” he said.
While people are getting affected by the disease, they are also recovering from it in big numbers, he said.
On Sunday, the Union Health Ministry said that India has become the fastest country in the world to administer over 14 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, done in just 99 days.
Eight states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala — account for 58.83 percent of the total doses given so far in the country, it said.
So far, 14,09,16,417 vaccine doses have been administered across the country through 20,19,263 sessions, the ministry said citing a provisional report till 7 am.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)