Ongoing programme of free vaccine will continue further too, PM Modi said

“After successfully confronting the first wave of Corona, the country was full of enthusiasm, full of self-confidence, but this storm has shaken the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.

He appealed to the state governments to extend the benefit of free vaccine campaign of the Centre to maximum number of the people of their states.

He said in the days gone by he had long deliberations with experts from myriad sectors.

“People from our pharma industry, vaccine manufacturers, those connected with oxygen production, experts from the medical field have put forth their valuable suggestions to the government,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister 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.

The Prime Minister 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 the 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 which 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.

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 utilize this scheme and ensure that maximum people have been vaccinated,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi spoke to BR Ambedkar Medical College's nurse Bhawana Dhruv, Senior Nursing Officer from Bangalore Surekha, an ambulance driver Prem Verma. 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,” Prime Minister Modi said. He asked Prem Verma to speak about the necessity of vaccines. Verma said that everyone should get a vaccine shot. The Prime Minister 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 an equal number of people who have managed to defeat COVID-19,” the Prime Minister said.

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.

Prime Minister Modi said, “The country is united in fighting the COVID pandemic. Many are distributing food in quarantine centres, distributing medicines to those who need it. 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 masks and strictly following the COVID protocol.”