The Chief Scientist WHO Dr Soumya Swaminathan, currently in India, called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Space, Dr Jitendra Singh. Dr Soumya, who is an eminent medical professional and former Head of ICMR, discussed with Dr Jitendra Singh various aspects of the current COVID pandemic as well as a wide range of other issues.
Emphasising on the importance of mass vaccination through easy availability and accessibility, Dr Soumya said, even though the vaccine may not be able to provide absolute protection against different variants of Virus, it can certainly reduce the risk of death and complications. Dr Jitendra Singh informed her that with the personal intervention and day-to-day personal monitoring by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, India has undertaken the fastest and the largest vaccination drive. On the call of Prime Minister Modi, people from all sections of the society are coming forward to cooperate.
In a country as diverse and heterogeneous as India, with multiple beliefs and multiple faiths, said Dr Jitendra Singh, it could not have been easy to embark on such a massive vaccination drive. He said, what is important to note is that India showed a remarkable capacity to rise to the occasion and despite the constraints of resources, within one year, we are in a position to dispense more than one vaccine and other countries of the world are also looking up to us.
Appreciating India’s comprehensive and cohesive war against Corona, Dr Soumya Swaminathan said, there will be a need to stand on guard in the months to come as well.
Dr Jitendra Singh observed that people in general have also become much more cautious than before and increasingly more inclined to follow COVID appropriate behaviour including social distancing and use of facemasks. He said, Prime Minister Modi invariably makes it a point to remind his countrymen about the importance of COVID related precautions and his message has gone a long way in creating motivation among the masses.