New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind here on Saturday said he shared the grief of all families affected by the COVID-19 and cautioned that the pandemic is not over yet and precautions need to be continued.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the 75th Independence Day, the President asked people to remain cautious and get vaccinated.
“The coronavirus has not yet gone away. We are yet to come out of the devastating effects of its recurrence this year,” Mr Kovind said.
He said India had succeeded in bringing the spread of infections under control in 2020, and Indian scientists succeeded in developing vaccines in a very short time.
“Therefore, at the beginning of this year, there was every reason to be hopeful as we launched the largest vaccination exercise in history. Yet, due to the new variants and other unexpected factors, we suffered from a terrible second wave,”‘ he said.
He said he was “deeply sad” about the lives that could not be saved.
“I am deeply sad that many lives could not be saved and many more suffered immensely in this phase of an unprecedented crisis. I speak for the whole nation when I say that I share the grief of all the affected families with the same intensity.”
The President also said that the second wave brought India’s public healthcare infrastructure under stress.
“The reality is that no infrastructure, even of advanced economies, could withstand a crisis of such enormous proportions. Efforts were made on war-footing to plug the gaps. The leadership rose to the challenge, and the government’s endeavours were supplemented by initiatives of the states, private sector healthcare facilities, the civil society and others,” he said.
Mr Kovind thanked the global fraternity and all nations that came forward to help India in this crisis.
He said we have learned the lessons well, we know this is the time of extra care and caution.
“We shall not let our guard down. Vaccines are the best possible protection science offers to us. Under the world’s biggest vaccination campaign going on in our country, more than 50 crore fellow citizens have been vaccinated so far,” he said urging all eligible citizens to get vaccinated.