- Centre will provide COVID vaccines to states for free: PM Modi
- Private hospitals can purchase 25% of the vaccines being produced: PM
- Free ration will be provided to over 80 crore poor people till November: PM
New Delhi: “This (COVID-19) is the biggest epidemic in the last hundred years, it is a tragedy”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on June 7. PM Modi’s address comes at a time the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of receding and many states have started easing lockdowns. PM Modi talked about India’s fight against COVID-19 especially during the second wave in April and May, 2021 when the demand for medical oxygen increased manifolds. In his address to the nation, PM Modi talked about India’s vaccination drive and made some major announcements with regard to COVID vaccination and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) that provides free rations to poor people. He expressed his condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones to COVID.
Here are the top highlights from PM Modi’s address to the nation:
- Announcing the change in the vaccine policy, PM Modi said, “We will take care of the 25 per cent work given to states. It will be implemented in two weeks. From June 21, we will provide free vaccines to states for those above 18.” This essentially means that the central government will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced in the country and distribute it for free to the states.
- Only free vaccines will be provided (to states). But those who don’t want free vaccines can do so at private hospitals. Private hospitals can still procure 25 per cent of vaccines being manufactured by the firms. They can put an additional charge of ₹150 over the set price for vaccines, said PM Modi.
- Every dose of vaccine is important. A life is associated with one dose. States will be informed about the number of doses they will be getting a week prior to the supply. There shouldn’t be differences and debates over vaccines.
- The anti-Covid protocol is the most important factor in the fight against this invisible virus. A vaccine is like a protection cover against this. Imagine what would have been the scenario if we didn’t have an India-made vaccine.
- Bypassing every apprehension, India launched not one but two made in India vaccines within a year. Our country and its scientists have shown that India is not behind big countries. Today when I am talking to you, more than 23 crore vaccine doses have been given in the country, said PM and informed that the supply of vaccine will increase in the coming days. He added, “Today, seven companies in the country are producing different types of vaccines. Trial of three more vaccines is also going on in advanced stage.”
- To produce vaccines at such a fast rate is a big achievement but it has its limitations. Vaccination first started only in a few developed countries. We started our vaccination drive based on the parameters set by the WHO. After taking recommendations, it was decided that the vulnerable population will be vaccinated first, which is why frontline workers, healthcare professionals and those above 45 were vaccinated first.
- PM Modi announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till Diwali that is in November this year. The free ration will be provided to over 80 crore people. Under the scheme over 80 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), are provided an additional ration of 5 kg of wheat or rice per person and one kg of pulses per household every month for free of cost. This is over and above their regular entitlement under the Public Distribution System (PDS) which includes 35 kg of foodgrains per month to households eligible under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month to Priority Households (PHH) beneficiaries at a subsidised cost of Rs. 2 per kg of wheat and Rs. 3 per kg of rice.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.