Free ration for 800mn till Diwali, vaccine for all from June 21: PM's top quotes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced free ration for over 800 million economically backward people in the country till November. He made the announcement during an address to the nation over the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in country.
"The government has decided to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Diwali. As many as 80 crore economically backward people will be provided with free ration under the scheme," PM Modi said.
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The Prime Minister also said that his government will provide free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone from June 21 onward. He further said that a centralised vaccination drive will be launched, under which all vaccines will be procured by the government of India and given to states for free.
Here are PM Modi's top quotes from his address:
- PM Modi praised the nation for fighting against the pandemic with grit and said India spared no effort in meeting its unprecedented demand for oxygen and medicines during the crisis. "This is the deadliest pandemic in the past 100 years. The modern world has not seen such a pandemic. Our country has fought this pandemic at many levels," he said.
- The PM said that in 2014, the country had a vaccine coverage of only 60%. "We managed to take it past 90% during our term," he said, adding, "There is very less number of vaccine manufacturers in the world compared to its demand. Imagine what would have happened in India if we didn't have vaccines. If you look at the history of the past 50-60 years, you will know that it used to take decades for India to get vaccines from abroad," he said.
- Giving an overview of the vaccine availability, PM said India was set to manufacture more doses. "Vaccine supply will be increasing in the coming days. Seven companies in the country are producing different vaccines and three vaccine trials at advanced stages," he said.
- The PM also said India was set to import more vaccines from other countries in days to come. "To increase vaccine availability, the process of procuring vaccines from abroad has been ramped up. Experts have also expressed concerns about children contracting the coronavirus disease. In this direction, the trial of two vaccines is underway. Research is being conducted for a nasal vaccine in the country," he said.
- Announcing the centralised vaccination drive, the PM said, "As much as 25% of vaccination work done by states will now be handled by the Centre. This drive will be implemented in two weeks. Both states and Centre will work as per a set of new guidelines which will be released soon."