Prime Minister Modi pays condolences to COVID-19 victims’ families, announces National Digital Health Mission

Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort Friday, the prime minister applauded the health workers and all frontline warriors working endlessly to contain the virus and save lives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on the occasion of India’s 74rd Independence Day on August 15 expressed his condolences to families who lost their loved ones to COVID-19 and said the nation will win the fight against coronavirus with “strong will”. He also announced the setting up of the National Digital Health Mission that will provide a Unique Health ID to every citizen.

Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort Friday, the prime minister applauded the health workers and all frontline warriors working endlessly to contain the virus and save lives. “India’s Corona warriors need to be applauded as they have exemplified the mantra Seva Parmo Dharma,” he said.

Also, highlighting the country’s steady escalation of its COVID testing capacity, the prime minister said, “From merely one lab we have today more than 1400 labs across the country. We were earlier conducting just 300 tests on a day; today we are conducting more than 7 lakh tests in a day. We have achieved this in a very less amount of time”.

Claiming that ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ spirit of the country has resulted in achieving self-reliance amid COVID-19, Modi said the country is now producing PPE kits, N95 masks, ventilators, etc., which were not being manufactured domestically. The increase in production capacity of such world class items also echoed in his call “vocal for local”.

The prime minister also mentioned India’s strategy for development of the Coronavirus vaccine. He stated that scientists are working on this mission with strong determination. Three vaccines are in different stages of testing. As soon as the scientists give a nod, mass production shall begin. A blueprint for the production and distribution of the vaccine is also ready, he added.

Announcing the National Digital Health Mission, Modi said the Unique Health ID for every Indian citizen will have details of the diseases, diagnosis, report, medication etc., in a common database through a single ID.

The prime minister also said the new AIIMS and medical colleges will strengthen the medical infrastructure in the country. “We have added more than 45,000 seats in MBBS and MD courses,” he added.

Modi also appreciated the role played by the Ayushman Bharat Health & Wellness Centres in provisioning of non-COVID healthcare services during the ongoing pandemic. Of the envisaged 1.5 lakh HWCs, one third are already active, he said. He also expressed confidence that Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will improve the effectiveness of services in the health sector.

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First Published:Aug. 15, 2020, 3:21 p.m.