Ahmedabad, December 31
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said new coronavirus cases are on the decline in the country but people should not let their guard down and continue adhering to Covid norms even after vaccination.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rajkot through video-conferencing, he exuded confidence that India is ready to roll out the world's biggest vaccination drive against coronavirus.
"I used to say 'jab tak davai nahi dhilai nahi' but now our mantra for 2021 should be: Davai bhi, kadaai bhi (yes to medicine and yes to caution)," Modi said.
People should not believe in rumours and unfounded claims regarding the vaccine, Modi said and claimed that some persons had already started spreading such lies.
Preparations to reach out to each beneficiary are in the final stage, Modi said, adding that new coronavirus cases are decreasing in the country.
"In 2020, there was an atmosphere of disappointment and dismay due to the infection. There were doubts everywhere. But 2021 is coming up with a ray of hope in terms of its treatment," Modi said.
"Preparations are in full swing for the vaccination drive in India. Efforts to make a 'Made in India' vaccine available to every eligible beneficiary are in its last stage. We are fully prepared to launch the world's biggest vaccination drive," Modi said.
In comparison to other countries, India is in a better position in terms of infection and deaths due to coronavirus, as the country took "timely and effective steps", he said.
Modi paid tributes to health care and frontline workers, scientists and good Samaritans for their sacrifices and services to society during the pandemic.
"We are working on mission mode to improve medical education in India. After the formation of National Medical Commission, the quality and quantity of health education will improve," he added.
Over Rs 30,000 crore of poor people's money had been saved due to the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Modi said.
"Jan Aushadhi Kendras are also a friend of poor people during illness. Over 7,000 such kendras all over the country provide 90 per cent cheaper medicines to people. Over 3.5 lakh poor patients use these kendras on a daily basis," he said.
In the last six years work on 10 new AIIMS began and 20 super-speciality hospitals are also being built in the country, Modi said, adding that 2021 would emerge as "a year of health solutions".
"The world witnessed how India faced and overcame health care challenges this year. In 2021, India's contribution for bringing in health care solutions will be important. Since diseases are getting globalised, health solutions should also be globalised," he said.
The world should come up with a collective response and working in silos would no longer be effective, he said. "We all need to come together for our people," he added.
India would emerge as the nerve-centre of global health, Modi said.
The Centre had planned to build 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres in far-flung areas under the Ayushman Bharat scheme for the poor, he said.
"Of these, 50,000 have already started, including 5,000 in Gujarat. Around 1.5 crore poor citizens receive free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh under this scheme. In total, Ayushman Bharat saved Rs 30,000 crore of poor people. This is a huge amount," said Modi.
Modi said the AIIMS in Rajkot is for the people of Gujarat and would create around 5,000 direct employment opportunities.
Over 200 acre land has been allotted by the Gujarat government for the AIIMS campus near Khandheri village on the outskirts of Rajkot city.
The institute would be built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,195 crore and is expected to be completed by mid-2022, said a government release.
The state-of-the-art 750-bed hospital will also have a 30-bed AYUSH block. It will have 125 MBBS seats and 60 nursing seats. PTI
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