Don’t let guard down in festive season, warns PM Modi | India News

Don’t let guard down in festive season, warns PM Modi | India News

NEW DELHI: India’s success in administering 100 crore doses of anti-Covid vaccines has generated a strong sense of optimism in all sections with experts upbeat about India’s economy even as it was necessary to remember that having a strong “kavach (armour)” did not mean that people should let down their guard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.
In an address to the nation, the Prime Minister said there is a feeling of “enthusiasm and joy (utsah aur umang)” with experts predicting a vigorous economic recovery and Indian companies receiving investments that will generate jobs. “If we see any section, whether society or economy, optimism, optimism, optimism is to be seen,” he said.

He said the 100 crore vaccinations answered all doubts about India’s capacity to combat the coronavirus, but emphasised the need for continued caution ahead of the festive season and said wearing masks must be second nature. “It is like we are used to wearing footwear when we step out… we should also get used to wearing masks,” he said.

The call for continued Covid safe practices is significant given upticks in infection even in countries like the UK where vaccine coverage has reached a majority of the population. “No matter how good the cover is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if the armour is a complete guarantee of protection, weapons are not thrown while the battle is on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with utmost care,” Modi said.
While pointing to the progress of India’s vaccination programme launched on January 16 this year, Modi said “The 100 crore vaccinations are not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of the country, it is the creation of a new chapter of history. This is a picture of a new India that sets difficult goals and knows how to achieve them.”
The “positive” note in the Prime Minister’s address, along with the call for care and caution, seemed to mark an effort to put behind the ravages of the second wave that hit India in April-June this year, and which had seen crises in oxygen supplies and hospital beds in many cities along with a high number of fatalities.
Modi took a few moments to refer to criticism of his call in 2020 for people to clang metal plates, saying it had been said that how would this help fight the pandemic. “This was meant to be a sign of unity and resolve… India’s vaccination programme has been based and driven by science,” he said, rebutting some experts, in India and abroad, who had argued that the pandemic cannot be countered by such demonstrative actions.
“But for us democracy means ‘sabka saath’. Taking everyone along, the country started the campaign of ‘free-vaccine, vaccine for everyone’. Poor-rich, village-city, faraway, the country has only one mantra that if the disease does not discriminate, then there cannot be any discrimination in the vaccine. So it was ensured that VIP culture does not dominate the vaccination campaign,” the Prime Minister said, underlining the fact that the people irrespective of their stature were asked to wait for their turn and doses were administered accordingly.
Modi said when the pandemic struck, questions started arising about India, if the country will be able to fight this global pandemic and from where will India get the money to buy so many vaccines from other countries.
“There were more questions like when will India get the vaccine? Will the people of India get the vaccine or not? Will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading?” the PM said and continued, “There were various questions, but the 100 crore vaccine doses answer every question. Today many people are comparing India’s vaccination programme with developed countries of the world. The speed with which India crossed the 100-crore mark is also being appreciated.”
The achievement will make everyone view India as more safe from Covid, Modi said, pointing out that it is often missed that the other prominent countries of the world had decades of expertise in researching vaccines and India mostly depended on vaccines made by these countries.
“However, India’s entire vaccination programme is born in the womb of science, has grown on scientific grounds and has reached all four directions through scientific methods. It is a matter of pride for all of us,” he said.
The PM once again exhorted people to encourage the “Made in India” campaign. “I will tell you again that we should insist on buying every little thing which is made in India, which an Indian sweats hard to make. And this will be possible only with the efforts of everyone,” the PM said.
Modi also exuded confidence about the Indian economy saying that experts and many agencies from home and abroad are very positive about India’s economy. “Today not only is record investment coming in Indian companies but new employment opportunities are also being created for youth. With record investment in startups, unicorns are being made,” the PM said.

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