Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 22
Terming the vaccine century milestone as a sign of new India that can set and achieve mighty goals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday cautioned people against laxity during festivals and urged them to buy local goods as they ride the wave of what he called “all-round positivity and optimism”, spurred by 100 crore-plus Covid doses.
- Editorial: Beyond vaccine century
“No matter how strong the shield, we can’t drop our weapons till the Covid war is on,” the PM said in a 20-minute televised address to the nation a day after India became the second country after China to deliver over one billion shots to its people.
India’s vaccine programme is science-born, science-driven and science-based… Today, there is optimism all around. Upcoming festivities will fuel this spirit Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
Modi asked people to make mask-wearing a habit and hailed the 100 crore vaccine dose landmark as a “picture of new India which can set and achieve high targets and can tirelessly work to achieve its goals”. As he reflected on the challenges faced since the outbreak of the pandemic, the PM said one billion shots was an answer to cynics who questioned how a democratic country like India could vaccinate such a large population in time to beat the pandemic. “Administering 100 crore plus doses is not just a statistic.
It is a reflection of the Indian capacity to script history and a matter of pride for every citizen,” said the PM, speaking of the government’s “free vaccine programme”. He said questions were raised from the start about Indian preparedness, considering the nation’s conventional dependence on the West for vaccines.
Hailing the national Covid inoculation programme as science-born, science-driven and science-based, the PM said it was not allowed to be overwhelmed by VIP culture. “If the disease did not discriminate, why should the vaccination programme discriminate?” he asked, adding the feat would cement India’s place as the pharmacy of the world and was already spurring “all-round optimism”.
“The world will see India as a safer destination now. There is new energy everywhere, the economy is looking up and the world is bullish on India. This is the time to buy local and make “vocal for local” a mass campaign like ‘Clean India’,” said the PM ahead of Diwali.
In apparent jibes at the Opposition, he noted Indians made collective participation their first line of defence against Covid.
“We clapped and clanged thalis, lit diyas to harness energies. Some people asked if this would defeat Covid but we saw in it unity and the power of collective resolve,” the Prime Minister remarked.
101.2 crrore doses given
More than 101.2 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in the country, including over 62 lakh administered on Friday, the Union Health Ministry said.
15,786 fresh cases
TOTAL DEATHS 4,53,042
ACTIVE CASES 1,75,745
231 deaths in 24 hours
Cong: Facts twisted, vax drive not free
New Delhi: The Congress questioned PM’s claim on running a free Covid vaccination campaign, saying nothing was free and the plan was being funded through taxpayers’ money. “It would be free if the BJP spent money from poll bonds,” Congress’ Gaurav Vallabh said. “India is the supplier of vaccines for the world and you are saying this is the first time,” he pointed out. On comparison with China, Vallabh said China had administered 216 crore doses and fully vaccinated 80 per cent of its population. — TNS
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He was addressing his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’