Noting that work was going on in the country on several coronavirus vaccines and some of them are in an advanced stage of development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the government is making preparations on how a vaccine, whenever ready, reaches every Indian in the shortest possible time.
In his Address to the Nation, the Prime Minister said the there should be no let-up in the fight against COVID-19 and social distancing and wearing mask was the only solution till a vaccine is developed.
He said the situation concerning the development of coronavirus vaccine in the country looks assuring.
He referred to the drop in new cases in the last few days but cautioned against any complacency, especially as the festival season has begun.
"In the last seven-eight months, due to the effort of every Indian, India is in a better position today. We should not allow it to deteriorate, we have to improve it further," he said.
The Prime Minister also referred to pictures and videos of people not observing norms against COVID-19 and said it is very inappropriate.
He said scientists were working on a war-footing to develop the vaccine against for COVID-19.
"After many years, we are seeing that work is being done on a war-footing to save humty. Many countries are working on this. Scientists in our country are also working hard for the vaccine. Work is being done on several coronavirus vaccines in the country. Some of these are in an advanced stage. The situation looks assuring," he said.
"Whenever the vaccine against coronavirus comes, the government is also preparing how it (the vaccine) reaches every citizen at the earliest. Work is being done at a fast pace so that vaccine reaches every Indian," he added.
He said till there is success in getting a vaccine, there should not be any carelessness.
"Till the time a vaccine does not get developed, we should not let our fight against the virus weaken," he said.
Citing a couplet from Ramcharitmanas, he said fire, enemy, sins (mistake) and illness should never be underestimated and taken lightly till they are fully treated.
"No laxity till there is a medicine," he said.
He said people who are not following norms to prevent spread of COVID-19 were putting themselves and their families at risk.
"We have come across many photographs and videos in which it has been observed that people have stopped maintaining precautions. This is not right. If you are being careless and moving out of your homes without mask then you put your life and that of the elderly and children of the family in trouble," he said.
He recalled that there was again a worrisome rise in cases in the US or Europe after a decline in COVID-19 cases. Citing a couple from saint Kabir Das about not being over-confident till a standing crop is harvested, he said his words mean that there should not be carelessness till success is achieved.
"Till the date, a vaccine does not come against COVID-19, we should not relax. People should take care of washing their hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks," he said and urged the media to continue spreading awareness.
Urging people to be safe, the Prime Minister extended his greetings on Navratri, Dussehra, Eid, Deepavali, Chhat Pooja, Guru Nanak Jayanti and other festivals.
He emphasised that the situation that the country has reached in its fight against the disease should not be allowed to be adversely impacted and that "lockdown may have gone but the virus has not gone away".
The Prime Minister said the people of the country have covered a long journey from Janta Curfew in March in the fight against COVID-19.
"Most of us are committed to our responsibilities and moving out of our homes to do our duties. In the times of festivals, streets are seeing increased activity. But we have to remember that lockdown may have gone but the virus has not gone away. The situation that we have reached in seven-eight months should not be allowed to impacted adversely," he said.
He cautioned that carelessness can impact the country's fight against the pandemic."We are moving ahead after coming out of a difficult time, a little carelessness can stop our speed, impact our joys. Fulfilling responsibilities and following caution, if these go together, only then will the joys of life be protected," he said.
He referred to India having the highest number of recovered COVID-19 patients."The recovery rate is good, the fatality rate is low. Our country is well placed today compared to resource-rich nations in the fight against COVID-19. The increased testing is our strength in this fight. A total of 5,500 people out of every 10 lakh population in India are infected, whereas in countries like the US and Brazil this figure is around 25,000," he said.
He lauded the healthcare professionals and said that they are steadfast in their duty to serve the people.
"Our healthcare professionals are working on the motto of `Seva Paramo Dharma' (Service is the highest virtue). We should not let our guard drop in these crucial times. This is the time not to believe that coronavirus has gone away or think that there is no danger from it," he said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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