Can’t afford to invite 3rd wave: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu urges people to follow Covid protocol
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday the temporary decline in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country should not make citizens complacent, adding the decline should be considered as a “breathing space” to get their act together in order to ensure that any subsequent health challenges can be faced with greater confidence and commitment.
Addressing the scientists and staff members of the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech after paying a visit to its plant at the Genome Valley, Naidu urged citizens to continue with wearing face masks, ensuring personal hygiene and maintaining social distance. “It is the duty of each one of us to act responsibly. We cannot afford to invite the third wave,” Naidu said.
The Vice President also pointed out that Covid-19, which is a constantly mutating virus, poses unforeseen challenges that forces it to find solutions that save lives and protect livelihoods. “We have to individually and collectively contribute to this national and international effort,” he said.
Naidu reiterated the Centre’s commitment that all eligible beneficiaries will be vaccinated by year end and expressed confidence that the inoculation drive will pick up pace in the months ahead. Calling for the vaccination drive to become a pan-India ‘Jan Andolan’, he said there is no room for vaccine hesitancy and also appealed to the citizens to get the jab.
During Friday’s address to the scientists of Bharat Biotech, Naidu also stressed on the need to protect children from the coronavirus disease and urged the scientific fraternity to pay attention towards expediting the development of vaccines for the pediatric category.
India has so far administered 460,656,534 vaccine doses to beneficiaries since the beginning of the inoculation drive on January 16. Over 4.43 million doses have been administered till 7pm Friday, as per the Union health ministry’s data.
As it has been highlighted that the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will affect children the most, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday the Centre would begin administering doses to children from August.
However, the health ministry has maintained that vaccines for children are still in the trial phase. “As we already know, some of our vaccines, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadilla’s vaccine, are in clinical trials. If the clinical trial data is robust, then the vaccine will be allowed for children,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said.