New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the country will achieve the historical feat of administering 1.5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine today, calling it an “important milestone” in the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease.
“Today, the nation has crossed an important milestone. India started the year with the vaccination of children in the age group of 15-18 years. Today, we are achieving the target of giving 1.5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and that too, in less than a year,” PM Modi said.
India had crossed the milestone of 1 billion anti-Covid vaccine shots on October 21 last year.
The Prime Minister Modi added that even as Covid-19 cases were rising fast because of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, more than 90% of the country’s senior citizens have received their first dose, while around 15 million children in the age group of 15-18 years were vaccinated against the disease in the first five days of the year.
“It is a huge number in terms of statistics. It is nothing short of a surprise for most of the big countries of the world. It is also a symbol of the capability of the 130 crore citizens of India. It is a symbol of self-confidence and self-reliance,” the PM said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in West Bengal’s Kolkata.
PM Modi stressed that from testing to vaccination, the infrastructure created by India is witnessed as a stellar example of fighting Covid throughout the world.
“We are planning tirelessly to improve healthcare amenities & infrastructure for rich & the poor alike for a safe & secure future,” the PM added.
Meanwhile, PM also said that under PM-JAY, more than 2.6 crore cancer patients have got their free treatment in hospitals across the country.
PM mentioned that more than 5000 health and wellness centre have been started in Bengal adding that about 11 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been provided free of cost to the state by the government.
“More than 1500 ventilators and more than 9000 new oxygen cylinders have also been given to the State. 49 PSA new oxygen plants have also started functioning,” PM added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who attended Friday’s programme virtually, however claimed that the campus had earlier been inaugurated by the state government in order to set up a Covid-19 facility.
“We had already inaugurated the campus. When the pandemic was raging, we had set up a Covid-19 hospital in the second campus, as the state government had 25% stake in it and had also allotted 11 acres land for the facility. It helped us a lot,” Banerjee claimed.
Bengal CM Banerjee put forth a set of demands before the prime minister, underlining the need for more seats for medical students, and more IAS and IPS officers in the state. She also pointed out that Bengal needs more vaccine doses, particularly with about 40% of the state’s residents yet to receive their second dose.