Cautioning Indians against rumours about coronavirus vaccination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the country is preparing to undertake the world’s largest vaccination drive against the infection.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Gujarat’s Rajkot via videoconference, Modi said: “In 2020, there was a question mark from all sides due to Covid-19 pandemic. But 2021 is coming with the hope of a treatment for Covid-19.”
He said that he was hopeful that the way in which India fought unitedly against the infection, it would similarly work hard to make the vaccination programme successful.
The Prime Minister said that when India faced any problem, the entire nation united to help each other.
“The way in which people took proper steps is the reason why we are in good a situation even amid the pandemic, despite a 1.3-billion population. More than one crore people have fought the pandemic and won. India’s record is much better than other countries in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.
He said that the number of infections in India were going down.
Warning the people to not get carried away by rumours, Modi said: “In our country, rumours spread quickly. Different people, for their personal gains or due to irresponsible behaviour, spread various rumours.”
“Maybe, the rumours will be spread when the vaccination drive begins; some have already begun,” the Prime Minister said.
He appealed to the people to refrain as responsible citizens from forwarding messages on the social media without checking.
“India has emerged as the nerve centre of global health. In 2021, we have to strengthen India’s role in healthcare,” he said.
He said that ‘dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi’ should be our mantra for 2021.
“Earlier, I said ‘dawai nahi toh dhilai nahi’ (no relaxation till no medicine). Now, I am saying ‘dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi’ (strictness even with medicine). Our mantra for 2021 is ‘dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi’.”
Pointing out that ‘health is wealth’, Modi said: “This year taught us this maxim. When there is any attack on health, it affects the family and the entire society comes in its grip.”
The Prime Minister also said that it was time to remember on the last day of the outgoing year the frontline warriors who safeguarded people while risking their lives.
“I pay my humble tributes to all frontline warriors who lost their lives in the line of duty,” Modi said, adding that the country also paid tributes to scientists, workers, doctors involved in the fight against Covid-19 and those working tirelessly for developing a vaccine for coronavirus.
Modi further said that India has proven its ability to adapt, evolve and expand according to demand. “We moved ahead with the world, added value to our collective efforts and served humanity above everything else.”
He said that his government is working on a mission mode to improve medical education in India. “After the formation of the National Medical Commission, the quality and quantity of health education will improve,” he said.
Highlighting his government’s achievements in the health sector, Modi said that over Rs 30,000 crore of poor people’s money had been saved due to ‘Ayushman Bharat Yojana’.
“This scheme has freed the poor people of India from the struggles of good treatment due to lack of money. And ‘Jan Ausadhi Kendras’ are also a friend of the poor during illness. Over 7,000 such centres all over the country provide 90 per cent cheaper medicines to people. Over 3.5 lakh poor patients use these centres on a daily basis,” he said.
He said that in 2003, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government had planned to add six more AIIMS to the six that existed back then.
“These new six were completed in 2012. And in the last six years, we have started work on 10 new AIIMS, out of which some are already functional. Apart from AIIMS, 20 super speciality hospitals are also being built in the country,” the Prime Minister added.
For the new AIIMS project in Rajkot costing Rs 1,195 crore, 201 acres of land has been allotted. It is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
The state-of-the-art 750-bed hospital will have 30-bed AAYUSH block, offering 125 MBBS and 60 nursing seats to students.
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