Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lauded his administration and the private health sector on tackling the coronavirus pandemic in the country, and asserted that the world was looking up to India’s health sector, reported the Hindustan Times.
“In the coming days, the world’s dependence on India will only go up,” Modi said at a webinar on budget implementation for the health sector. “India’s medical education, Indian doctors, nurses will soon be in high demand. We need to keep this in mind.”
Modi also said that India had to be prepared for an “increasing demand” of “Made in India” coronavirus vaccines, reported ANI.
The prime minister said that Covid-19 taught us that we need to be prepared for future diseases too. “So it is important to strengthen all aspects of the health sector – from medical equipment to medicine, from ventilators to vaccine, from doctors to epidemiologists,” he said.
Modi called the budget allocation to the health sector “extraordinary”, and said that it showed the Centre’s commitment. “To keep India healthy, we’re working on four main things – prevention of illness and promotion of wellness, healthcare access to all, building health infrastructure and increase in quality and quantity of healthcare professionals, to work in a focused manner,” he said.
In the Union Budget, announced on February 1, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced an outlay of Rs 35,000 crore for India’s coronavirus vaccination programme. The Narendra Modi government will make more allocations to this fund, as and when required, she had said.
In Tuesday’s webinar, the prime minister said that the approach of his administration was different from the earlier governments. “Our approach is holistic as it encompasses cleanliness, nutrition, wellness, the prevention of diseases and all other allied sectors,” he said. “Before, the health sector was fragmented.”
Modi also drew a parallel between the coronavirus and tuberculosis. He said if the same preventive measures taken for Covid-19 is taken for tuberculosis, India would be free of the bacterial disease by 2025. He pointed out that tuberculosis also spreads from the droplets of an infected person, similar to the coronavirus.
“There might be some sections which did not get the expected allocation, but this is not the last budget,” he said. “So it is time to get going and put the money to the best use as fast as possible.”
Meanwhile, India on Tuesday registered 10,584 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,10,16,434. Seventy-eight more deaths pushed the country’s toll to 1,56,463. The number of active cases stood at 1,47,306, while the number of recoveries reached 1,07,12,665. As many as 1,17,45,552 health care and frontline workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far.