New Delhi: As the country suffocates due to lack medical oxygen and health care system collapses under mounting number of corona cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed citizens of India through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, emphasising that the Centre will continue to give free jabs to eligible people. “India was full of self-confidence after successfully tackling first wave of COVID-19, this ‘toofan’ (2nd wave) has shaken country,” said Modi in his radio address.
Mr. Modi spoke to Dr. Shashank from Mumbai. He asked the doctor on how the second wave is different from the first wave. Dr. Shashank said that this one is spreading faster than the first wave and the youth and children are also getting affected.
Mr. Modi asked Dr. Shashank to explain the treatment for COVID-19. Dr. Shashank clarified that there is no need for Remedivisir. The doctor said, “One can do pranayam to expand lung capacity. We should keep a positive outlook. India’s recovery rate is higher than rest of the world.”
The PM added, “I urge you to seek information only through authentic sources. You may consult your family doctors. Many doctors are sharing information through social media, consulting through phone and whatsApp. There are several hospitals who have put information on their website.”
He then spoke to Dr. Naveed from Srinagar. “We need not panic. Even now if we follow the COVID-19 protocols, then we can protect ourselves from the infection,” said Dr. Naveed.
Mr. Modi asked Dr. Naveed to clarify the doubts about vaccines and hesitancy in taking vaccines.
“I urge people, not to fall prey to any rumour about vaccines. You must be aware the government of India has sent free vaccines to the State governments,” the Prime Minister said.
“The free vaccination programme of the government of India will continue. I urge the State government to utilise this scheme and ensure that maximum people have been vaccinated.”
PM Modi spoke to BR Ambedkar Medical College’s nurse Bhawana Dhruv, Senior Nursing Officer from Bangalore Surekha, an ambulance driver Prem Verma. Ms. Bhawana shared stories about working in the COVID-19 wards, the difficulty in wearing PPE kits for prolonged periods, leaving the family behind for days at a time.
“Friends along with doctors and nursing staff, frontline workers like lab-technicians and ambulance drivers are like God,” the PM said. He asked Mr. Verma to speak about the necessity of vaccine. Mr. Verma said that everyone should get a vaccine shot. Mr. Modi said that people like Prem Verma are putting their own lives in danger to save others.
“While it is true that many have been affected by Corona, there are equal number of people who have managed to defeat COVID-19.”
He then spoke to one of COVID-19 survivors, Preeti Chaturvedi from Gurgaon, asking her to explain to the COVID-19 patients how to cope with the disease.
PM Modi said, “The country is united in fighting the COVID pandemic. Many are distributing food in quarantine Centres, distributing medicines to who need. Awareness has increased in villages. So while on one hand the country is fighting the COVID inside the hospital there is a section which is fighting this outside the hospital by wearing mask and strictly following the COVID protocol.”
Modi concluded his speech urging the nation to get vaccinated against the deadly virus.