President Ram Nath Kovind commends roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine in India; supply to other countries
Lauding the country's quick response in coming out with a vaccine to control the novel coronavirus, President Ram Nath Kovind said India is rightfully being called the "pharmacy of the world" as it has not only rolled out vaccination for the domestic population but is also supplying it to several other countries.
In his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day, Kovind urged citizens to utilise this "lifeline" and get vaccinated as per the guidelines.
"A self-reliant India has manufactured its own vaccine for COVID-19 and is now undertaking a mass vaccination drive, which will be the largest exercise of its kind in history. The administration and health services are working with full readiness to make this exercise a success," he said.
Kovind said, today, India is being rightly called the 'pharmacy of the world' as it is supplying medicines and other healthcare items to several countries to alleviate people's suffering and contain the pandemic across the globe.
"Now, we also provide vaccines to other countries," he said.
He said Indian scientists have been working day and night to decode the coronavirus, and they have succeeded in developing the vaccine in record time.
"With this accomplishment, our scientists have added a glorious chapter of contribution to the well-being of humanity. Our scientists, along with doctors, administrators, and people from other walks of life, have made a major contribution in containing the virus and keeping the fatality rate lower in our country, compared to that in developed countries," he said.
Underlining the travesty caused by the coronavirus, Kovind said, "Last year, as humanity almost came to a halt in the face of a calamity of gigantic proportions, I often found myself reflecting on the central message of the Constitution. Our effective response to the pandemic would not have been possible without our Constitutional value of Fraternity."
Indians have been like a close-knit family, making exemplary sacrifices to protect each other in the face of the common enemy of coronavirus, he said.
"I am thinking here of doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare administrators, and sanitation workers, who put their own lives at risk to care for COVID-19 patients. Some of them even lost their lives. Along with them, about 1.5 lakh people became victims of this pandemic. I convey my condolences to the bereaved families," he said.
Kovind said the country's frontline corona-warriors were ordinary citizens who turned out to be extraordinary.
"When the history of this tragic chapter, which is not yet over, is written, I am confident that the future generations will behold you all for the heroic response to the crisis for which no one could have truly prepared," he said.
The President said, given the country's population density, diversity of cultural traditions, natural and geographical challenges, taking precautionary measures against COVID-19 was far more difficult.
"Yet, we have managed to check the spread of the virus to a large extent," he said.